Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Testing of our Commitment

READ Hebrews 11:8-19

The “stretch” times of life are when God tests us. He teaches us new and deeper truths about Himself, His purposes, and His promises. The difficulties are often painful, but they are always designed to be beneficial. From a human perspective, times of testing can be confusing because we don’t understand how anything good could result.

Consider God’s command that Abraham sacrifice his long-awaited son Isaac. Abraham’s earthly viewpoint could have regarded this order as:

Unreasonable—”God, I cherish my son above all else. How could You ask this of me?”

He could have also seen it as:

Untimely—”Why now, Lord? My son is still young. He is the one through whom my descendants are to come.”

Abraham may have also thought the command was • Unfair—”It’s not right that You ask me this. Haven’t I left home and friends to follow You?”

And who could blame the patriarch if he viewed sacrificing his son as:

Unbearable— “This is too hard for me. I cannot take this pain.”

But Abraham rejected that kind of thinking. Instead, he trusted God and refused to turn away. The trial revealed Abraham’s unshakable commitment to the Lord’s plan. Knowing which circumstances will help us grow, our Father asks us to exercise faith and choose His way. Remembering His unending love and wholehearted commitment to His children will help us do this. Rest assured, God makes no mistakes in His dealings with us.

Imagine Abraham’s joy when the Lord provided a ram as a sacrifice in Isaac’s place. We will receive the same reward of spiritual joy when we remain steadfast. Won’t you respond to times of testing as Abraham did—by trusting and obeying God?

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