Abraham was an old man. Furthermore, his wife Sarah was past the years of childbearing. And even in her younger years they had never been able to conceive a child. These are the kinds of facts that can create doubt in a person. And Abraham was not the kind of man who would run and hide from the facts. He faced them.
In later years, scribes who copied Paul's description of this in Romans 4:19 added the word "not" to the sentence. They changed "he considered his own body . . . [and] the barrenness of Sarah's womb" to "he did not consider." They apparently did not understand how a man could look at facts such as these and still believe God's promise. But Abraham's faith was not blind; his was no "ostrich faith" that hid its head in the sand, hoping that the problems would go away.
The secret to Abraham's faith was that he did not stop with the earthly view; he looked at the facts of this world and then he also looked at what God could do. God had given him His promise and Abraham was "convinced that God was able to do what he had promised" (Romans 4:21).
Acting on that conviction, Abraham "grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God" (Romans 4:20). His was not a secret faith; he praised God for His promise and his faith grew as a consequence. The same thing can happen to us.
We, like Abraham, can see our faith grow when we give God the glory for His promises. We must face the problems of this world, but realize that God is greater than this world. Just as Peter could walk on water as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus instead of on the waves around him, so we too can deal with this world's problems if we keep our eyes on Jesus.
To many people the idea of a resurrection from the dead is ridiculous. The dead remain in their graves. But for the God who made the world in the first place, a resurrection is not impossible. Can we trust God's promise that death is not the end of life? Let us praise Him for it and grow strong in our faith.
Copyright © 1993, Bruce Terry. All rights reserved. This article may be freely reprinted in bulletins and newsletters so long as no charge is made to the reader and this copyright notice is included.