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The Realism of Faith

Romans 4:19-22
Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead -- since he was about a hundred years old -- and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." (NIV)

Believers are sometimes accused of 'blind faith'. It is intended as an insult, meaning that 'you cannot see the problems, you cannot understand the issues so you just believe without evidence ... your faith is therefore an excuse for not thinking'. But that is not Biblical faith. Real faith is realistic. It fully sees the problems but refuses to allow the difficulties to overcome the confidence that God can do anything; and that He will always keep His promises.

Abraham was not blind to his aging body, or to Sarah's inability to conceive. Neither was he imagining the impossible as a fantasy. But everything changed when he heard God's specific promise. The promise, combined with what he knew about God's character, was sufficient to strengthen his faith to the point at which he had no doubt that God would do it. And so God credited Abraham as being righteous, as a gracious gift.

God has not changed. He still has the power, and looks for those who will give the glory to Him. Of course, Abraham had a lifetime of making mistakes. But as time went by, he practised believing what God said until he became fully confident in the Lord despite the impossibility. It is the same for us. God does not want us to be blind to the realities around us; but they are also the test of faith. We have to choose to place our hope in His unseen promises - rather than despairing because of the 'realities' of what we can see. It may be that you are facing that kind of test right now. The choice is either despair through what we see or hope through what we believe. Make the choice and be 'fully persuaded' that God can and will do whatever He has promised.

All-knowing God. Thank You that You can see the end from the beginning, and that You know how You will fulfil all Your promises. Forgive me for allowing the mountains of impossibilities to weaken my faith. Help me to reinvest in reading Your Word, and believing what You say because of who You are! So please strengthen my faith as I learn how to trust You fully. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams