Summary: How to keep your faith from faltering
How to Keep Your Faith From Faltering
One of my favorite Hymn writers is Fanny Crosby. Though she was blind, Fanny Crosby wrote over eight thousand hymns. There is a great story behind how she came to write the Hymn titled All the Way my Savior Leads Me. Story has it that Fanny was worried about money that she needed to pay bills. She needed five dollars and she did not know where she would get it. Instead of letting her faith guide her she instead let her fear consume her. As she was worrying about the situation a knock came at the door, it was someone who felt led to give her five dollars. This person had no idea of her need, but felt led to give Fanny this amount. To Fanny, this was a rebuke of her lack of faith and trust in the Lord. It was out of a faltering faith that Fanny Crosby wrote All the Way My Savior Leads Me.
In the believer’s journey of faith there are going to be those moments when faith falters. Just as Fanny Crosby had a faltering faith, our journey with Abram will reveal a faltering faith. And if we look into our own journey of faith we, too, will see moments where are faith faltered. You could say that a faltering faith is inevitable, but it does not mean that we should not try to avoid it at all cost.
Our study of the life of Abraham is a study so that we can learn lessons for the life of faith. It is a study to help us realize the attitudes and choices that can encumber our journey of faith and possibly avoid those attitudes and choices when they come our way. We must remember that the journey of faith is a process of maturity and that there are different stages within the process. There are stages of great success and there are stages of great defeat. And our faithful God uses both success and failure to mature us in our faith.
With the life of Abraham we have already noticed that Abraham started his journey of faith in Ur, but along the way he was sidetracked and he and his father Terah settled in Haran. It was in Haran that Abraham heard the summons of renewal, the summons of a second chance, and he responded in faith and continued on his journey until he made it to Canaan.
In our text today we find Abram in Canaan, the place where God wanted him to go. You could say that Abraham is in the center of God’s will, but that would soon change. It would change because trying circumstances would come to test Abram’s faith and Abram’s faith falters. Abram’s faith will crash in our text, but the crash is not terminal. God in his faithfulness will use Abram’s failure to bless Abram and grow Abram in his life of faith. It is from these verses that God’s people can learn how to keep their own faith from faltering when they face trying times. The first lesson that will help God’s people in their journey of faith is that they must realize that faith matures through challenging circumstances.
I. Realize that Faith Matures through Challenging Circumstances (12:10)
“Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was sever in the land.”
A. The Challenging Circumstance
The challenging circumstance for Abram is a famine in the land. In fact, the end of verse ten tells us that this famine was severe. The Hebrew word translated “severe” has the meaning of burdensome or difficult. You could say that the famine was very challenging for all who lived in the land.
It was not uncommon for this area in which Abram found himself in to experience drought. The ecology of that region was very fragile because it depended on the rains that came in the winter and spring months. If these rains did not come at the time needed or less or more than expected or fail to even come at all, then the planting and harvesting was negatively affected. This difficult circumstance would become a challenge to and test of Abram’s faith in the Lord.
B. The Challenge Clarified
The challenge of Abram’s faith is realized when we remember the nature of the summons to the life of faith given in the previous verses. Abram first heard the call of God upon his life while he was in his birthplace, Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram was to leave Ur and go to Canaan. Canaan did not compare to Ur when it came to luxurious comfort. Ur was port city, fed by two great rivers, and rich soil to bring about a great harvest. Canaan, on the other hand had a very sensitive ecology that could bring about famine in the land at any time.