Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pastoral Pings: When Seeing-faith Rises Up in Hope

18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4)

          Why did Abraham “believe against hope” that he would become the father of many nations? Answer: “as he had been told” by someone who could not lie.[1] Why did Abraham not weaken in his faith when he considered how old he was, or that his wife was both old and barren? First, because God gave him a promise; second, because he knew “God was able to do what he promised.”

          Abraham did not have blind-faith, because he had already witnessed God’s faithfulness in tangible ways. God was God, so God’s word was settled no matter what things looked like then, now, or ever.

          God’s children today do not have blind-faith. The Bible itself is full of incredible numbers of testimonies of real-life encounters with God, fulfilled prophecies, and promises for what is ahead. That is tangible. It is measurable by our material senses, and yet impossible to explain by merely material events.

          As Abraham waited patiently for the fulfillment of God’s promises, he does two things for us even now. First, he gives us an example of someone whose faith did not waver even though his eyes saw what appeared to be an impossible situation. Second, his life story, including all the development of the nation of Israel, their deliverance out of Egypt, their taking of the Promised Land, and their presentation to the world of the one and only Savior, are all tangible testimonies of God’s work in our world that encourage us to live by faith, even during the times when things once again seem to be impossible.

          Faith has far too many works of God to look at in space, time, and matter, to think that God will fail at a promise just because we have not yet seen it happen. As surely as God has proven himself in so many tangible ways throughout history, he can be trusted with all that he has promised his children for their future.

          Let us not be as those who grumble and complain against the Lord God of the universe just because our prideful little hearts can’t see anything happening in the here-and-now.[2] Let us be those who wait in faith upon the LORD, and find God’s strength empowering us to rise up as on the wings of eagles,[3] living in such confident hope of the things that are to come, that people will see this unexplainable hope within us and wonder why it is there.[4] If you live by such hope and faith through any trial you are facing, you can be sure that when someone asks you the reason for your hope, you will have plenty to share.

          From my heart,



© 2013 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)


[1] 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. (Hebrews 6)
[2]And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness,” (Exodus 16)
NOTE: type in the word “grumble” in and see how many times God confronts his people for their grumbling and complaining against him, even after being witnesses to God’s awesome acts of deliverance and provision. People who say “I will believe it if I see it” take warning: if the people who witnessed God delivering them with ten plagues, leading them to safety through the red sea, and serving up bread and quail even when they had such bad manners in the asking, would still not trust him with the next impossible-looking situation, we cannot think that our own stubbornly unbelieving hearts would suddenly change their minds just because we saw a miracle. It didn’t work when Jesus did his miracles in such vast numbers right before the eyes of prideful men, and it won’t work now no matter how many things people see. God has done enough in his word to bring his children to faith. As his word says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Read the word of Christ and ask God for the faith that hangs on every word.
[3] “27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40)
[4] 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (I Peter 3)

No comments:

Post a Comment