UNAFRAID OF THE FUTURE
Abraham was an Aramean, living in ancient Mesopotamia with his father’s household. God calls him out of that land into the great unknown. The command was to “Go”. No details were given about the destination, the route, or the detours. The only outcome promised was incredible blessing. Abraham did as he was told and in Hebrews 11 we see that it's credited to him as righteousness. The reality of Abraham’s situation though was that he must have felt fearful and apprehensive at different points of his life.
He must have felt nervous at the thought of leaving the comfort of home and heading to a nameless destination. There must have been doubts on whether he truly heard this “unknown” God. He was risking everything based on conversations with this God and was uprooting his whole life to obey Him. He must have been confused when God repeatedly promised him descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky when Sarah his wife was barren and he was really old- way past the days of natural conception or so he thought. He must have winced at the idea of circumcision at the age of ninety-nine along with all the males in his family in order to establish a covenant with God. He must have been shaken with fear when he was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac, the son who was promised for the longest time. Abraham was by no means perfect.
Abraham was not perfect- He freaked out and lied twice to two different rulers about his relationship with his wife, slept with the maid to appease his wife, laughed mockingly at angels who spoke about Isaac’s birth, and sent away his older son to make room for Isaac his younger son. Yet he had a certain gritty trust in God that we can learn from. Each season of his life required fearlessness and while he may have felt shaky and uncertain he eventually found his way to the promises of God and stood firm on them. He chose to be faithful instead of fearful time and time again which sets him apart as the father of all nations. He was faithful to the call God had on his life which was to “direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just” (Genesis 18:19). He received the things God had promised to him because of this faithfulness that he displayed.
Abraham also feared God rather than fearing his circumstances. His life had its ups and downs thanks to a wife who was yearning for a child, a stepson born through his slave girl, and a whole lot of uncertainty in his nomadic lifestyle. Fearing God involves a reverent awe knowing who He is rather than a nail-biting anxious fear of what He may do. When Abraham lay his son on that altar in obedience to God he displayed his deep love and fear of God. He trusted in God’s sovereignty and lay his most treasured possession before him without holding him back. Abraham’s close friendship with God enabled him to trust God deeply and to walk confidently in the knowledge of who God was, is and would be.
Have you had times when you have been moved out of your comfort zone into the new? Maybe a new job, or a new relationship or a new church?
Corrie ten boom said “ Choose to trust your unknown future to a known God”
Have you heard distinctly from God yet do you have doubts whether you heard him correctly or if it's just your mind playing tricks on you?
If your mind is stayed on Christ and you trust Him, he will guide your thoughts and actions and they will led to peace. (Isaiah 26:3)
Are you clinging onto a promise for so long that you wonder if the promise is for you?
We are promised in 2 Corinthians 1:20 that every promise is Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus which means that God will fulfill all His promises for us because He is faithful and true to His word. No matter how limited your resources are in reality, your unshakable faith in Christ can tip the scales in your favour.
Are you in a season of pain or discomfort that is making you doubt the promise and the promise giver?
Abraham had to undergo circumcision in order to enter the covenant with God. There was pain before the promise. Romans 5 verses 3 and 4 speak of how we can rejoice in suffering because it brings endurance, builds character, and produces hope.
Are you afraid that you may lose those who are dearest to you as you follow Christ?
While nothing is certain in this life, we can pray for God’s protection over those we love and entrust them to God’s care and keeping knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39).
Will you choose to be faithful rather than fearful?
Will you choose to fear God rather than fearing the unknown?
It could make all the difference in your life.