“For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring–not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”–in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” ”
I think that this is a piece of the puzzle when it comes to thinking about Christians who stick it out for the long haul. Like Abraham, these kinds of Christians even stare some stark and sobering realities about the earthly obstacles they experience in the face, but they choose to believe God and fix their eyes on Him for direction, sustanence, and delight.
When we get consumed by the mountains only God can move, we become more vulnerable to distrust and then can be lured away by other fascinations that promise some immediate comfort or fulfillment that doesn’t appear to cost us so much. In truth, this is a deception, since everyone bows to something and so that lure can quickly become lord of our lives…more rapidly than we’d really like to admit.
I wish more of us ‘got it’ like Abraham did. He didn’t deny the challenges before him, but that didn’t give rise to a departure from God’s instructions. Abraham pressed on in the things God told him to do, even though he wasn’t seeing any physical changes to his need for a son and his inability to have a child with Sarah. He believed in the God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. If we walked through our days making decisions that reflect an unwavering belief in this God, we have no cause to turn away after other things. God rewarded Abraham’s patient faithfulness. He multiplied it by allowing Abraham to grow strong in his faith as he gave glory to God.