The following is an excerpt from “Do Not Grow Weary in Prayer and Fasting,” written faithfully each week for nearly 10 years by Jerry Hale, Spiritual Emphasis Committee Chair for the Growing and Building Campaign.
I’ve been reading about Abraham in my devotions lately. We know that Abraham (originally named Abram) was just a regular guy in the family line of Shem, son of Noah, back in the day long before the descendents of and Isaac and Ishmael began their disagreements. Then one day, according to Genesis, Chapter 12 God began to reveal his plan for Abraham:
1 The LORD said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him;
Abraham, like believers after him, heard God speak and then acted on what he was told. Along the way, like believers after him, he went off on his own from time to time and did not totally trust the Lord. Along the way, Abraham became a wealthy man and tried his best to be faithful, regularly calling on the name of the Lord and even introducing the concept of tithing. After a successful military campaign, God spoke to Abraham once again according to Genesis 15:
God’s Covenant With Abram
1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward.”
2 But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” 5He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Here we see the Lord revealing more of himself to Abraham; now the Lord makes a specific promise to Abraham. He will have a son! The scripture says that Abraham believed the Lord and it was credited to him as righteousness. Even so, he had doubts. How could this be he asked? While the Bible says he believed, the subsequent actions of both Abraham and his wife, Sarah, seem the opposite of belief. Yet, the Lord was patient with them and God’s plans and promises ultimately prevailed.
We are all people of faith. For some reason, God has called each of us as he did Abraham. Like Abraham, we are ready to believe, but we still have doubts in our humanness. Thankfully, like Abraham, God’s plans and promises to us will ultimately prevail.