He Believed God
When I want to make a special link between Abraham’s faith, our own faith and the promises of God. The point of Romans 4 is to teach us that we can grow in faith just as Abraham did. Paul begins his teaching from verse 18 by taking us back to Genesis 15:6. The Bible says that Abraham, “Believed God.”
The Hebrew word for believe is very special to me because it means, “Yes and Amen.” When I think about my own faith, I have to ask if I immediately say, “Yes and Amen” to all that God asks of me and all that God promises to me.
To me, this is the exciting part. 2 Corinthians 1:20 teaches, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” If all the promises of God are “Yes” in Christ and therefore I can utter, “Amen” to God’s glory, then how can my faith not say, “Yes & Amen”?
The Bible word, “Amen” means, “Let it be so.” When God wants to increase my faith, my response should be “Let it be so.” When God wants to test my faith, my response should be, “Let it be so.”
Although we are going to see the many challenges facing Abraham and Sarah, I want you to remember as we study this passage of Scripture, that Abraham’s faith consistently said, “Yes & Amen” to the Lord. May our faith begin to do the same.
He Did Not Weaken In Faith
If you have had to wait upon God for an extended time, you probably know what it is to doubt God and grow discouraged. I know those feelings well. When I consider Abraham’s journey, that it took 25 years for God to fulfill His promise to Abraham, and yet he, “did not waver,” according to verse 20, but rather, he grew stronger in faith. This intrigues me and causes me to desire to grow stronger in faith toward God.
What are you currently believing God for? Is for the salvation of your household? Are you believing God for healing, or for a better job? Are you trusting the Lord to fulfill a promise from years ago? Let Romans 4:19 settle and strengthen your hope in God!
The circumstances were against Abraham. There were several factors that said God’s promise could not be fulfilled. Verse 19 says that Abraham, “Considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old) or when he considered barrenness of Sarah’s womb.”
Perhaps circumstances are against you? I have seen parents pray for their wayward children, only to see their children go further away from the Lord. How discouraging it is when our circumstances are louder than God’s promises. If there are area’s that you have to, “Consider” like Abraham, notice what Abraham does next with his faith.
No Unbelief Made Him Waver
Even though Sarah’s womb had been barren throughout their entire marriage and even though their age said it was impossible to produce a child, Abraham never, “Wavered in unbelief concerning the promise of God.” Don’t you want this kind of faith? I do!
James 1:6-7 is quick to remind us, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.” Do you see how important faith is to the Lord? Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
So if you are not a believer who is growing in faith, according to the Bible, you are not pleasing the Lord! I do not want to be satisfied with weak or complacent faith.
Another important note here is that Abraham believed God for Sarah. Not only did he have his own physical challenges, but he had Sarah’s weak faith to contend with. Do you remember what she did when the Angel delivered God’s promise of a son in Genesis 17? She laughed! She did not believe God’s promise. She even created the mess with Hagar and Abraham.
It is one thing when you must believe God for yourself. That in itself is difficult, but Abraham believed God for both himself and his wife. Perhaps you are in a similar situation where you seem alone in your faith. Let Abraham’s faith encourage you!
As He Gave Glory to God
What a key phrase! As you are waiting upon the Lord, are you careful to glorify Him? Many of us will glorify God once the testimony is complete, or once we have seen that God fulfilled His promise. But this is the challenge of faith, for anyone can glorify God in that situation. No, the true test of faith is to glorify the Lord before He answers our petition.
Are you quick to glorify God even though you do not see the results of your praying? I thank God for this small phrase in Romans 4. Paul tells us in Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” While God is doing His work, I must be faithfully doing my part in glorifying Him. I am not glorifying Him after His work is done but during the entire process. What a great model of faith Abraham is to us!
Fully Convinced That God was Able
Oh how I desire faith like this! Abraham was fully convinced that God was able. Think about this, Abraham was not able (his body was dead to produce children). Sarah was not able (Her womb had been barren her entire life). Yet God was able!
When you consider how helpless we are, but how able God is, it will cause your faith to increase. For many of us, we cannot increase in faith toward God because we have far too much faith in ourselves. To truly grow in faith, we must see our own inabilities. We have to accept our own weaknesses and shortcomings. When we do this, then we can grow in humility and grow in faith.
If you are someone who feels the pressure to work everything out, or you have tried and tried only to fail, take heart! Your inability is not a bad thing. Your inability is an opportunity for God to work! When you are unable…God is Able!
Faith Counted As Righteousness
Again, Paul impresses me with his vivid description of Abraham’s faith. He then says in verse 22, “That is why his faith was counted to him as righteousness.” The word, “Counted” means “To make a deposit.” The old King James uses the work, “Imputed.” As our faith grows, God deposits unto us more righteousness. Righteousness means, “Right standing with God.”
I want these Heavenly deposits into my life. Sin withdraws righteousness. Sin causes me to hide from the Lord, just Adam and Eve hid from the Lord in the Garden of Eden. Sin breaks my fellowship with the Lord. But faith draws me closer. Faith strengthens my fellowship with God as only prayer can.
A Wonderful Invitation
In verse 23, Paul concludes by saying, “But the words, ‘It was counted to him’ were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”
This tells me that God can work in my faith the same way He worked in Abraham. As God deposited, credited, imputed or counted Abraham’s faith as righteousness, then the Lord can count my faith as righteousness. Just as Abraham, “Did not waver”, but “Grew stronger in faith”, and “Was fully convinced that God was able to do what he promised” so my faith, and your faith can say the same! May we ever be increasing in our faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ.