Most are familiar with the story of God calling Abraham to ‘go to a land I will show you’(Gen. 12:1) and of the promises made from God that followed (Gen. 12:1-4). We see in Romans 4 how this is fleshed out in the life of Abraham and what we, Lord willing, may glean from this as church planters.
1) (v17) In hope against hope. Abraham’s hope was not in self but in God. Our hope as church planters can not be in our self.
2) (v17) He believed. Abraham believed in the God who ‘gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist’ (v17). As church planters we must believe God without conditions and without strings attached. We must believe in God!
3) (v19) Without becoming weak in faith. The reality that He and Sarah were beyond the age of child-bearing did not cause his faith to plummet, because, and only because his faith was rooted in God’s promise. Faith is weakened when it rests in the ability of man. May we as church-planters take heed to Amy Carmichael’s words ‘For every look you take to self, take ten looks to Christ’. Father help us, by your grace, to not trust and depend on each others gifts and abilities; but may our faith rest solely on You.
4) (v20) He did not waver in unbelief. Unbelief is a sin against an omniscient God and therefore paralyzes the Christian. We as church-planters must be willing, along with Job ‘to accept both good and adversity from the Lord’( Job 2:10) and realize that each circumstance and every situation is a tool in the hand of the Lord to make much of His Name and to cause His children to depend more and more on him. Father, help us, by your grace, to fight the fight of unbelief! (James 1:5-8)
5) Results: (v20) He grew in faith…giving glory to God
Hopefully what can be learned from this is that God births faith in us (Eph. 2:8-9; Philippians 1:29; Rom. 12:3) and then so orchestrates every aspect and detail of our life by His kind providence to this end; that he would receive the glory, and in so doing it also strengthens our faith, not in our own ability, but in Him.
Please pray for our team and this church that our hope will have its root in God, along with an unshakable belief in God, and an unwavering, strengthening faith in God, resulting in the glory of God and our joy in God.
For from Him and through Him and to Him are ALL things, to Him be the glory, now and forever (Rom. 11:36),
Jordan, Bryan, and Nathan