"And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness." - Genesis 15:6
Last week I talked about my tendency towards doubting good news and struggling with believing what I cannot see. The story of Abraham has ministered to me greatly in the past few weeks. He had to wrestle hard with what it means to believe God and take him at his word (and, like me, he didn't always do that well). This morning I read about God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15 and how Abraham believed God's promise to make him into a great nation. Abraham was essentially believing that what God said was true. This belief, this complete trust in God's word, was the basis of his faith. Abraham's belief was a recognition of his utter dependence on the One who would do all that he said. He trusted that God would act on his behalf. He believed God's word was true.
His story is no different than mine. I have to daily fight to believe that what God says in his word is true regardless of my circumstances. As I read the story of Abraham this morning, I was reminded of a children's song my niece used to listen to. It was about God's word, and while I don't remember all of the lyrics, one line has never left my memory:
"God said it. I believe it."
So simple and short, yet so powerful. This line holds the same truth for me as it did for my little niece. If God said it, then I will believe it. But how often do I question his word? It starts in the small things and moves on to the bigger and more obvious. When we doubt him in the seemingly insignificant areas of our life it makes doubting him in the most important areas that much easier.
Often we think Abraham had a greater advantage than us. He heard directly from God. God performed an amazing miracle in his life by granting him a child at an age when all hope of ever conceiving seemed lost. God dealt with him personally. Surely it made believing easier, right?
But God has spoken to us in even more amazing ways. We live on the other side of the promise. The one who was going to bless the nations Abraham fathered has come. The promised seed that the patriarchs, and everyone else in the Old Testament, looked forward to has come and has made a way for us be righteous. He acted on our behalf. God's word has come true in the life, death, and resurrection of his son, Jesus. Hebrews 1:2 says that "in these last days he [God] has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom he also created the world." Abraham only had a veiled promise of a hope to come. The veil has been removed from our eyes and we now have the promise.
This is why we can trust God. All that he says he will do he accomplishes. He never fails. He never recants. And he is always faithful to his promises. Like Abraham, we are not always able to see all of the details of God's plan for our lives, but we can trust that the greatest promise for us has already been fulfilled at the cross of Jesus Christ. Our sins have been paid for and we have been given the righteousness of Christ. By virtue of this very transaction at Calvary we have hope that God will always work for our good (Rom. 8:28).
His word is true. He has said it and by his grace I believe it.