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Real Faith, Living Faith
Real Faith, Living Faith
This is a meditation on four verses found in Romans chapter 4. In the four verses of Roman's 4:18-21, Paul talks about the faith of
Abraham. He mentions four aspects of Abraham's faith, thereby explaining to us why
his faith was reckoned as righteousness.
1. 'In hope against hope, he believed.' He believed in the face of
despair. That's what 'hope against hope' means. Reason, considering the
hopeless circumstances that beset him, cried, 'Impossible!' Abraham
contemplated his own body which was as good as dead and the barrenness
of Sarah's womb. He carefully considered the circumstances, but refused
to accept what reason told him. Faith transcends human reasoning. Faith
is way beyond what people call 'common sense'.
2. 'He did not waver at the promise of God.' He did not waver. Remember
James; he spoke about 'Nothing wavering. For he who wavers is like a
waves of the sea driven with the wind and tossed around.' James 1:6.
Abraham believed in God's amazing promise that he would be the father of
many nations and his descendants would be as numberless as the stars in
heaven. It was a huge promise. Way beyond human imagination. Can you
understand these two phrases: 'father of many nations' and 'numberless
as the stars in heaven'? Abraham stood upon the enduring word of God;
divine words which will never pass away [Isaiah 40.8; Luke 21.33]. He
did not doubt, even for a moment; he did not question, even once. Faith
stands absolutely and implicity on the unbreakable, all-faithful,
ever-enduring word of God.
3. The Amplified Bible amplifies what the Bible says, because the
Hebrew and the Greek are very rich languages, and the English
translation cannot adequately convey the thought contained in the verses
of Scripture. The Amplified Bible says that Abraham grew strong in
faith by giving praise and glory to God. In other words, Abraham went a
'step further'. He not only believed, but he increased his faith by
giving thanks to God and praising Him in everything. Do you know that a
living faith always expresses itself in worship. Read Psalm 106:12:
'They believed His words; they sang His praise.' Faith must respond in
praise and worship. Sad to say, we are plagued by unbelief, and when we
face a problem we tend to worry and get depressed, instead of believing
in God's promises (given to us in our quiet time) and praising God. Here
we see clearly that Abraham 'grew strong in faith, by giving praise and
glory to God'. Do you know that whoever praises God glorifies Him? Read
4. 'He was fully assured that what God promised, He was able to
perform.' He believed God is able. Take a concordance and trace out all
the verses that talk about God being able. Listen to Shadrach, Meshach
and Abednego in Daniel 3:17: "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver
us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver..." Listen to
John the Baptist: "God is able of these stones to raise up children unto
Abraham." Listen to the man of God telling king Amaziah of Judah: "The
LORD is able to give thee much more than this." Listen to Paul, who had
a matchless confidence in God and has provided several instances of 'He
is able' in his epistles. Listen to this: "Now to Him who is able to do
exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think..." Eph 3:20.
Faith declares boldly, 'My God is able!'. God has spoken, and He will do it. Nay, when He speaks, it is done! Psalm 33:9.
After describing these four aspects of Abraham's faith, Paul concludes:
'Therefore, it was reckoned to him as righteousness.'[Rom 4.22].
Do you have such a living and practical faith in a living and true God? Faith is not belief in doctrines and theories. Doctrine is important, but when Paul writes of faith, when the Bible speaks of faith, we see faith as being alive. 'The righteous shall live by faith' Rom 1:17. Those words are very profound. We 'live by faith'. We walk by faith, not by sight. If we don't have a living faith in the living word of the ever-living God, our faith is dead. Abraham's faith carried him beyond hopeless circumstances, beyond an agonizing and apparently interminable wait, and brought him directly in touch with God. And God honored his faith. Which is why we know Abraham today as 'the father of faith'. Can we declare boldly: 'With God nothing shall be impossible.' Luke 1.37. I believe it is possible for people like you and me to have such a faith. Our Lord said that if we had a mustard-seed quantity of this kind of faith, we would move mountains!
© Roland N Oliver/Tan Pratonix