And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. James 2:23 (NIV)
Abraham believed God, but it sure took a lot of work to get there. He believed enough to leave what he had known to enter into the unknown based on God’s direction (Genesis 12). But the slogan about “God said it; I believe it; and that settles it” didn’t work for Abraham. Why? Abraham didn’t know God very well.
It would be easy to think “Gee whiz, Abraham had direct conversations with God. Why did he struggle with doubt? If I had those conversations with God, I would act immediately and wouldn’t doubt at all.” Well, don’t become so self-righteous so fast. We haven’t walked in his shoes.
Abraham did things for God that no one had ever done. Abraham also gave us an understanding of God that no one before had ever had. We have a greater understanding of God based on the understanding that Abraham pioneered about God’s nature and character. With the knowledge we have of God, you might wonder what Abraham would think of our faith.
Here’s the bottom line: the truth of God had to become familiar to Abraham. The process involved wrestling with doubts. God’s promise was great in theory, but the practical implementation was a whole other deal. Abraham is not so different from us.
There are many things that we understand in principle, but we don’t yet understand in our experience. If we could just read words on a page and have it instantly sink in, that would be something. But, there are those events in our lives that cause us to question everything. That doesn’t mean that we put on a “Bad Christian” name tag. The correct label would be “God’s Work in Progress.”
How are you challenged to fully believe God today? Do you wonder if His Word is true? Do you question God’s reality? Do you feel that God has forgotten you? Press into that and work it all of the way through. God will prove Himself to you. You will develop a fuller understanding of Him. Your faith will grow.
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