Summary: Defining Moments in the Life of Faith

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Defining Moments in the Life of Faith

Genesis 22:1-19


One of my favorite books that sits on my shelf is 101 Hymn Stories by Kenneth W. Osbeck. In this book Osbeck gives the inspiring stories behind many of the hymns that we know and cherish. What strikes me about many of the inspiring stories behind the creation of these hymns is that many were written out of defining moments in the life of the author.

Take for instance the Hymn It is Well With My Soul. Haratio Spaffard wrote this great hymn after he lost his four children in an accident at sea. Francis Havergal is another author who wrote many of her hymns out of defining moments in her life. Havergal’s hymn I Gave My Life for Thee was written after she saw a picture that had been painted by a painter named Sternberg. The paining was a picture of Christ wearing a crown of Thorns before Pilate and the Jewish religious leaders. Beneath the painting read the words “This I have done for thee, what hast thou done for me?” Francis Havergal was so moved by the picture that she wrote a poem before she got home. When she got home she was not pleased with the words so she threw them into the fire. The paper did not make it into the fire, but is said to have floated out onto the floor and her father would latter pick it up and give it back to her and encourage her to put music to it, and she did.

Defining moments are everywhere we look. We have defining moments in history, one such moment being the cross of Jesus Christ. We have defining moments in the history of the church, the great reformation being one. We have defining moments in the world of sports. I must admit that I cried when Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys broke Walter Payton’s all time rushing record. As we look at Genesis chapter twenty-two we come to another defining moment, a defining moment in the life of Abraham.

Those who have any knowledge of the life of Abraham most likely have a knowledge of what takes place in the life of Abraham in Genesis chapter twenty-two. It is by far a defining moment for Abraham. It is well said that it is not just a defining moment in Abraham’s life, but it is also the high point of his journey of faith.

When we see and experience defining moments in the life of faith what we notice is that these moments come in different forms such as trials, test, and task. Defining moments in the life of faith are moments that God uses in the life of his people for a purpose and that purpose is maturity.

In our study of Abraham we have seen many defining moments in his life. The first defining moment in the life of Abraham came from his initial call to the life of faith back in chapters eleven and twelve. Another defining moment came when Abraham was faced with a famine in the land that God had promised. Then there was the promise of a child and the patients needed to wait on God to act that served as a defining moment in the life of Abraham. What is interesting about the defining moments in the life of Abraham is that they consist of both failures and victories. The Lord has a way of turning even our low points into defining moments.

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