Today’s Bible reading led me to Romans 4, where Paul describes Abraham’s belief in God being different from the “works” of those who are trusting in their own righteousness. What jumped out to me is that Abraham’s faith didn’t weaken when he considered physical limitations (Rom 4:19). That’s a contrast to my faith when I look at the circumstances around me and my own shortcomings and flaws. Too often, when I see the problems and failures around (and within) me, my faith weakens and my worry increases. But the next verse has an encouraging statement:
No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God (Romans 4:20 ESV)
It’s helpful to see that Abraham’s faith was strengthened as he gave glory to God. I’m beginning to see this in my own life as I focus more on praising God for his works, and read about his glory in the Bible and in other articles and books. The more I’m able to see God’s glory, the stronger my faith becomes. Abraham’s faith supported radically wild hopes: that somehow he’d be able to have a child, even though it was impossible. Or that somehow God would bring his child back from the dead after a sacrifice of obedience.
The truth is that God is the one who created people and gave them the ability to bear children. God is the one who created life and is able to bring back people from the dead. This isn’t hard for God; instead, what’s harder is for us to believe and to catch the vision of how God can be glorified in our faith. When we put God in his rightful place in our hearts and minds: as ruler, king, master, authority, supreme treasure… we glorify him and our faith is increased.