This week, the influential life we’re using as our example is Abraham’s and his model of faithfulness. Among the many things we can learn from us is the importance of standing firm in our faith, no matter the cost. Spend time reading through Genesis 22–26 in preparation for Sunday. And consider the thoughts below. Our hope is that this week’s study revives your faith and the faith of all those in your group.
But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” He replied, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from Me.” Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. And Abraham named that place The LORD Will Provide, so today it is said: “It will be provided on the LORD’s mountain.” —Genesis 22:11-14
Faithfulness is one of those things in life that’s much easier “in theory” than it is in practice. While the development of our faith includes many times of struggle, God also gives us good times, during which we build a reserve to call on when struggles return.
Abraham had seen God keep His promises many times prior to the test on Mount Moriah, so he had no reason to doubt God’s faithfulness on the mountain. Throughout Abraham’s entire life, God had been preparing him for this test. In fact, Abraham’s example proves that practicing faith in God in daily life prepares us to trust Him in more challenging situations.
Our trust in God grows the more experiences we endure. As Mother Teresa advised, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” Whether life makes sense or not, our faithfulness should display trust in God’s goodness and love. He is ultimately the one in control: “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent” (Matthew 10:29). Abraham’s faith in God was so consuming, he could gather bundles of wood for the sacrifice of his son.
Think about a time when your faith was put to the test. How had God prepared you to face that situation?
Some testing times offer no human source for help, leaving us dependent on God. Have you experienced this type of loneliness? What did you learn about yourself and God during that time?
About the Author
Laura Magness is an editor for Threads. She is a graduate of Samford University and Dallas Theological Seminary, and lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Nathan, and part-basset hound, part-lab, Hank.