"Nurturing Unshakable Faith: A Journey to Lay Hold of God's Promises"

Let's delve into Father Abraham's story, where his trials are sometimes overshadowed by the emphasis on his blessings. One might question the reasons behind God subjecting him to such tests.

Imagine someone waiting until the age of one hundred to receive a son from the Lord. Prolonged challenges can easily lead to weariness and a loss of faith. Abraham, despite longing for God's promises to be fulfilled, experienced increased worries as his blessings grew. Understandably, he may have struggled with faith during such enduring trials.

Ultimately, the Lord fulfilled His promise to Abraham's wife, Sarah, just as He had spoken. Despite having a son from a bondwoman named Hagar, the true promise was in Isaac, through whom his seed would be called. Abraham, who had endured a lengthy wait and even sent away his previous son, was now faced with the prospect of the Lord taking him away, further highlighting the challenges of fulfilling God's will.

Indeed, who else but God could orchestrate such events? The Bible emphasises the term "only son" in Genesis 22 verse 2, where it states, "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac," underscoring the significance of the command to offer the son he loves as a burnt offering in the land of Moriah.

The words Abraham heard might indeed sound like something the devil would say, as he aims to steal, kill, and destroy. Interestingly, Abraham didn't resist; he obeyed without saying "no." It raises the thought of what might have happened if he had reacted similarly to Jonah, who ran away when sent by the Lord to Nineveh.

Adding to the challenge, God subjected Abraham to a three-day journey, raising the question of whether God was testing if he would change his mind during that time. It's a unique aspect of God's plan, showcasing a sense of humour, albeit involving emotional turmoil for Abraham.

The striking moment when Abraham ascended the mountain and his son, Isaac, carried the wood for the sacrifice is truly heartbreaking. Isaac, realising the absence of a lamb, questioned his father. Abraham, with a heavy heart, assured him that "God would provide." Despite the emotional turmoil, Abraham pressed on, fully aware that this was a test from God, and he was willing to face the challenge.

God sought to determine if He held the primary place in Abraham's life, testing whether Abraham loved God more than his own son. Sacrificing an only son is a challenging concept to grasp, but Abraham's unwavering conviction and deep belief in God enabled him to make such a profound move. Despite his intimacy with God, Abraham's fear of God prevented any disrespect, allowing him to firmly grasp the promises God had made to him.

Abraham received the directive to walk before God and be perfect, understanding that the giver of the instruction could not make a mistake. Despite temptations and trials, he persevered, walking by faith and not by sight. His unwavering belief in God was credited to him as righteousness. As a believer, demonstrating faith through actions becomes crucial—a tangible expression of your trust in what you do.

To partake in these blessings, it's essential to have unwavering trust and confidence that God neither lies nor leads you into harm, mirroring Abraham's deep trust in God. Attaining this level of faith requires abundant grace, determination, and perseverance.

And before you claim the blessings of Abraham, you need to ask yourself these questions: Do I love God? Is he the first in my life? It’s important to know that He will also test you in various ways to make sure He has His rightful place.

Numerous believers today desire Abraham's blessings, yet they often operate with a Thomas-like faith, needing to see before believing. This mindset, rooted in wishful thinking, tends to lead to frustration. Abraham, on the contrary, believed beyond what he saw—the circumstances—allowing him to lay hold of God's promises through unwavering faith.

The book of James warns against those who doubt, comparing them to waves of the sea driven by the wind and tossed (James 1:6-7, paraphrased). In contrast, Abraham's unwavering belief allowed him to lay hold of God's promises.


© Oluwadamilola Ajayi

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