Summary: From the "Heroes" Series: A message on the testing of Our Faith based on the life of Abraham - Hebrews 11:11-19; Genesis 15:1-6; Genesis 22.
WE finished last week, talking about the Life of Abraham with a PROMISE. God had promised Abraham that from His own flesh and blood, He would build for himself a great nation of people…and would give to them the land of Canaan that He had led Abraham to.
There was one little problem. Abraham’s wife, Sarah was barren and could have no children.
But FAITH is not based on the reality of our circumstances, it’s based on believing that GOD can do anything he wants to do.
Jennifer has a quote hanging on the wall above her desk from Oswald Chambers that says, "God can achieve his purpose either through the absence of human power & resources, or the abandonment of reliance on them"
That is so true. The times when he can’t do anything with us are the times when we feel we’ve got it all under control. If God’s going to do what He wants to do in our lives, we’ve got to stop trusting ourselves, submit our lives to God’s leadership, and start trusting Him!
This morning’s message is entitled "What’s Your Faith Made Of?" because one of the things we don’t really like to think about when we talk about Faith is that in order for our faith muscles to grow, our faith has to be challenged. James says this in James 1.
James 1:2-4 - Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
God had a great challenge for Abraham, and God knew that in order for Abraham to be able to stand with Him when the heat was really on, he’d have to test him along the way.
ILL - Some of you I know are faithful to the Gym. You exercise faithfully, you work your body, because you understand what the rewards will be. You can’t have a nautilus body if all you ever do is sit on the couch!
Here is a Truth that you need to understand. Just as if you were a bodybuilder and had to stretch and test your muscles, if you want strong faith-muscles, your faith will be challenged to see what it’s made of.
Hebrews 11:11-12 - By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
Here’s the Background.
Genesis 15:1-6 - After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, [a] your very great reward. [b] " 2 But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit [c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir." 4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." 5 He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." 6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
But God Gave Him a Son! They named him Isaac, which means laughter.
Genesis 21:1-7 - Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 Sarah said, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me." 7 And she added, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."
But God Tested Abraham in the most unusual way…
Genesis 22:1-2 - Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."