Tuesday, March 7, 2017

faith: in the cold gray light of dawn

The Word for today:
Genesis 15
mark this: Genesis 15:6 --
Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD accounted it to him for righteousness.
and this: Romans 4:19 --
Abraham faced the fact that his body was as good as dead and that Sarah's womb was also dead.
When we talk about "saving faith"--the faith that saves--the first instance of it is in the life of Abraham:
Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD accounted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)
God promised that Abraham and his wife Sarah would have a child in their old age--and that through this child all the earth would be blessed. (The child would be Isaac. Through that child came Jacob, Judah, David, Jesus Christ -- through whom all the world has been blessed.)
Romans 4, the entire chapter, is an explanation of the faith that saves--the faith of Abraham. And the verse which forever changed my concept of faith was Romans 4:19:
Abraham faced the fact that his body was as good as dead and that Sarah's womb was also dead. (NIV)
Another translation says he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb. (NASB)
He faced the facts, he contemplated--he considered long and hard--every relevant factor. He did not deny the obstacles.
Biblical faith in God is not devoid of reason. It is a faith that does not deny the existence of obstacles, but evaluates them in the light of God's word and power.
Abraham considered his own body, now "dead." He weighed the human impossibility of becoming a father at his age against the divine impossibility of God being able to break His word. He decided that it was more impossible for God to break his word, and so he believed God. And God counted it to him for righteousness.
Thus Romans 4:19 marked a deepening of my understanding of faith. Faith turned from screwing my head on differently to an honest analysis of the situation.
Faith was no longer, "This isn't a problem." Instead it became, "This is a big problem, but it's not as big as Jesus."
Do any of you have a big problem? Don't deny it. It is what it is. But it is not as big as Jesus.
Faith is not a leap in the dark. It is a well-contemplated decision in the cold gray light of dawn. Faith isn't screwing your head on differently in order to deny reality.
I've seen a lot. So have you. We don't need to deny our eyes. I turned a bright light on everything I've seen, everything I know--and I decided to follow Jesus. That's biblical faith.

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