Today’s reading is Genesis 15. The first verse begins with, “After these things…” In the previous chapter, Abraham and just over 300 of his men defeated a much larger army made up of a partnership of four kings and all of their men. Following that victory, Abraham was offered a substantial reward by a king, but turned it away.
“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
God comes to Abraham, comforting him and promising him reward – and Abraham comes back with questions – what can you give me? I’m still childless! You haven’t given me any sons! God sends Abraham outside and has him look at the stars – Look at the stars, can you count them? If you can, that’s how many descendants you will have.
v. 6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
We know that this isn’t the end of Abram’s story. It was many, many years after this that Isaac was born. Abram had to be reminded of God’s promise and His covenant many times. But way earlier, as we just read – Abraham BELIEVED – and his faith was pleasing to God.
It’s so easy to doubt God’s promises. If I can’t see the “how” and “when” that God will carry out his plan, my faith falters and disbelief seeps in and sows seeds of discontent. But thankfully God’s promise isn’t dependent on my ability to accept it. It doesn’t even depend on anything I do. The covenant God made with Abraham – made perfect through Jesus’ death and resurrection, is solid and true. It is done. There is nothing expected from me (or you).
Believe. That’s it. Have faith. God is working out his plan for you (which is good, by the way – see Jeremiah 29:11) And not just faith in general – faith that is specific. God has given us specific promises, here are just a few of them:
- Promise to give us wisdom (James 1:5)
- Promise that salvation is secure (John 10:28-29)
- Promise of rest (Matthew 11:28-29)
- Promise to protect us from temptation (1 Cor 10:13)
Every one of us is struggling with something today – or, more likely, may somethings. Finances, work stress, over-busy schedules, frustrating co-workers, illnesses, broken relationships, feelings of inadequacy, etc.
I challenge you today to do one thing: BELIEVE. Believe that God knows these troubles (no matter how big small!) and that He can fix them. Don’t trouble yourself all of the logistics – just listen to his promise(s) and believe that they are true.