You’re likely familiar with it. “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3). Belief in the promise of God is the basis for righteousness in the presence of God.
But what I want us to consider today comes a little further down in Romans 4. Let’s take a closer look at one aspect of Abraham’s belief which frequently gets overlooked.
Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” (vv.19-22)
I love this passage because it reminds us that ours is a realistic faith! Before Abraham chose to believe God, he “faced the facts.” He lived in the real world; he knew where babies came from. Abraham looked at his wrinkled, 100 year-old body, knowing he’d never fathered a child before. He faced the fact that his wife was nearly 90 and her womb was already “dead.” He didn’t ignore those facts, he faced them.
Other translations say that he “considered the facts…” “Consider” is a good rendering of the original Greek which means “to ponder before concluding.” It’s to think things over from top to bottom before deciding. Abraham considered the facts and concluded, “None of it seems to add up, but you know what? I choose to believe God anyway!”
Please hear this – faith is not the ABSENCE of doubt. Faith is the ANSWER to doubt. Abraham’s body gave him all kinds of reasons to doubt the promise of God. But Abraham’s faith answered those doubts.
Likewise, faith in Christ doesn’t require us to ignore the realities of this life. Nor does it eliminate every doubt we’ll ever have. But our faith gives us the ability to face the facts and conclude, “I choose to believe God anyway!”
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