It is easy to define faith. It is easy to talk about faith. It is easy to expect faith in yourself and in others. But faith isn’t always easy. Those who live by faith will soon find out that faith in God requires things that will be hard for us. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. The conviction of things unseen. We walk by faith and not by sight. But how easy is that? That can be challenging. Walking without being able to see where you’re going but trusting that you’re on the right path. God has called us to live a certain life. To do certain things. To believe in Him and love Him. To believe in Jesus and love Him. To believe in His Spirit and His Word. To believe in Heaven. And everything we do, every choice we make has to be based on that faith. There will be times that we will struggle with that. At times it will be hard for us to walk by faith. But walk by faith we must. No matter what. Knowing in faith that God will see us through to the end. Knowing that it will all be worth it in the end.
I am 99.9% certain that none of us have ever or will ever be tested like Abraham was in Genesis 22. God came to test Abraham. To test his heart. His faith. His conviction. His obedience. And what a test it was. God told Abraham to take Isaac, his only son whom he loved very much, and offer him up as a burnt offering to the Lord. Abraham was to do to Isaac what he had done to the animal sacrifices. Kill him. Put his body on the alter. And burn it as an offering. How hard that must’ve been. What a shock it was. How could God ask Abraham to do such a thing? It is hard to imagine. But from what we are told, Abraham didn’t hesitate. He didn’t argue with God. He didn’t complain. He humbly, lovingly, obediently went to do exactly as God had told him to. But thankfully before Abraham could kill Isaac, the angel stopped him and provided a ram instead. Abraham had proved himself. He had shown his faith. He obeyed in faith. No matter what.
What an incredible example of faith. No wonder the Hebrew writer put it in his letter. Hebrews 11:17-19 says, “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, ‘Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.’ He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.” God had promised Isaac to Abraham. And it took many years before God gave him Isaac. But then God said to kill him. How could that be? Regardless, Abraham still had faith in God. Abraham likely didn’t understand why God wanted him to do it but his faith was so strong that he knew that if God said He was going to use Isaac then God could just raise him from the dead. What faith! Hard. Difficult. Faith.
What is something that God has called you to do in faith that has been hard? Have you done it? Or are you resisting? Hesitating? We are told to give up sin. Are we doing that in faith? We are told to lay up treasures in Heaven and not on earth. Are we doing that in faith? We are told we can overcome the pain, sorrow, and fear in this world. Are we doing that in faith? It will be hard. It will require a lot from us. But it is worth it all. By that faith we will be with God for eternity in Heaven. So do the hard things. By faith. God’s way. All the way. In a happy way.
And before we ever complain, go to the cross and think of the faith and obedience of Jesus. God gave His only Son. The Son whom He loved. There was no ram to take His place. Jesus took our place. Jesus looked to the joy ahead and was able to endure the cross. Was it hard for Jesus to die for us? Yes. But He did it. Will it be hard for us at times in our faith? Yes. But we can do it. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.