Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Providence
“He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,” (Romans 4:19–20)
The Apostle Paul is here speaking of Abraham, the great patriarch who stands at the head of the Jewish people, the one from whom they all descend. He was a man who was marked by his faith in God, as we read in Genesis: “And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). This model of trust in God is one which lies at the heart of the gospel itself.
The faith of Abraham is two-fold. First of all he believes that God keeps his word. In this instance that word was that Abraham would have a son through whom a great nation would come. That is a great claim in itself, but Abraham’s faith also contained a second element: this would all happen given his great age, and the fact that Sarah his wife was barren.
In other words, Abraham’s faith was that God can act above nature if he pleases.
We are all too aware of our limitations, and not only because of the onward march of the years. In Abraham we find an example of God taking someone and making them able to do something they thought was impossible. Moses, who pleaded with God: “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else” (Exodus 4:13). Becomes the great leader of the Israelites. Paul, the great persecutor of the church, becomes its greatest missionary.
The history of the Church is scattered with unpromising people who were mightily used by God. God is able to act above nature, and that is something which gives great hope. You may feel a small Christian, but you have a great God. And that is plenty.