Read and reflect on Paul’s description of Abraham in Romans 4:17-21:
17 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.
18 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.”
19 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.
20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God,
but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
How do we grow strong in our faith? How do we strengthen our capacity to trust the Lord?
- One important component of growing strong in faith is knowing what “is written” (v.17). One must know well God’s promises before you can trust them. You must know someone well before you have a greater capacity to trust them fully.
- Another component of growing strong in faith appears to be praising and worshiping God. Abraham “grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God.” What does it look like to give glory to God? To rest in, delight in, and enjoy the Lord for who He has revealed himself to be and for all that He has done in Jesus to rescue us and make us His own. Also, giving glory to God involves repenting and confessing our impatience and taking matters into our own hands rather than trusting God’s time and ways (Ishmael).
- Another aspect of growing strong in faith is not allowing our circumstances to dictate our emotional state and feelings. Appearances can most often be deceiving and misleading. The words “as good as dead” and “barrenness” set forth how seemingly hopeless and impossible the situation was for Abraham and Sarah.