By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, ~Hebrews 11:17
How much do you trust God? Do you have enough faith to trust God about everything in your life? Do you have enough faith to believe that God can and will take care of you? This morning, we are considering “faith under fire.”
We see the reason.
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried….” God uses trials to determine our spiritual character and worth. “Trial” comes from a word that is used for testing precious metal. When silver or gold is placed under intense heat, the hidden impurities inside of the metal come to the surface and eventually burn away in the heat. Any residual still remaining is removed by the refiner. The purest and most valuable gold is that which has gone through the fire. “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the Lord trieth the hearts” (Proverbs 17:3). God gives us trials to purify us, then to prove us. What does a fiery trial say about your faith?
We see the risk.
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac.” God required Abraham to present his only begotten son, Isaac, as an offering to God. Abraham had offered up the best of his flock as a sacrifice to God over and over without any reservations. However, God required him to offer up his son, whom he loved and valued more than anything else. Abraham was being tested as a patriarch. He was known as a prophet of God and the founder of the Hebrew people. Abraham was being tested paternally. As a father, he was required to do something that touched where he was most sensitive. He was being tested in his passion. Did he love Isaac more than God? When our faith is tested, something valuable to us will be placed at risk.
We see the resilience.
Isaac was the son of promise. Isaac was the seed line for a mighty nation. Abraham could have reneged on God and fought with Him about this test. Abraham did not! What was God trying to do with Abraham? First, his patience was being developed to a new level. The trying of our faith worketh patience. Trials are God’s proven method for building our patience. Second, his prudence was being developed. When we go through a trial, we are commanded to pray for wisdom (James 1:5). Third, his practices were being developed. He developed closer fellowship with Isaac. He said, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship.” He exhibited an unbending faith. He told the servants, “I will come again to you.” He told Isaac, “God will provide himself a lamb.” Abraham did not bend under the weight of the trial!
We see the reward.
“Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” Abraham had absolute and complete faith that God is able! Thirty years prior, God demonstrated that “there is nothing too hard for the Lord.” Abraham reckoned and summed up in his heart that if Isaac was being offered up as a sacrifice, then God will raise him back up. He had faith in a future resurrection! He saw the resurrection of Christ! He believed in the fact that death has no hold on the eternity of a believer. Then, to validate a future resurrection, Abraham received Isaac back. God provided a ram caught in the thicket by its horns as a substitute for Isaac. Abraham demonstrated a faith that did not waver. His reward was not just the sparing of Isaac’s life, but in the revelation of Jehovah Jireh: in the place, the Lord will provide. The faith of Abraham in his test is a beautiful picture of the gospel and how Jesus is the perfect Substitute for our sins.
Don’t let your faith fail when it is tested. Look to Abraham our father, and be strong in faith, not doubting the promises!
Have a faith-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalm 26-31