Week 8 - July 14th, 2019

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Week 8 - July 14th, 2019

Hebrews 11:17-19 “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,  of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”


Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Faith That Endures For Kids




Day 1: 

Hebrews 11:17-19 “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,  of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”

THE TESTING OF OUR FAITH:

Through various times in our life, God tests our faith. We can see that happening here in Abraham’s life, and in the lives of many throughout Scripture. He does it to sanctify us to be more like Him, to bring glory to Himself, and to strengthen and build up our faith. In the good times, we tend to coast through life in a way that’s impossible during seasons of trial. Often, we even tend to drift away from Him. We feel self-sufficient, in control and as if we have it all together on our own.

When our lives are turned upside down, we are given a clear image of how powerless we are in our own lives, and exactly how much is outside of our control. In the blink of an eye, our health, finances, relationships, and jobs can crumble beneath us. In moments like this when these things in which we sometimes place our identity and purpose are yanked out from under us, we are forced to confront our own powerlessness, and ultimately, our need for and dependence on Christ alone in a unique way.

Here, we see that Abraham has been told to sacrifice his only son, the son of the promise, an unthinkable act. God was working on Abraham’s heart, forcing him to consider how much he actually trusted God. 1 Peter 4.12-13 says “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” We shouldn’t be shocked when these things happen, but instead, we should rejoice that we are suffering with Christ, and that we have the Lord of universe to lean on in our pain.

Friends, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12). Remain steadfast. When hard times come, run to Jesus. Trust Him. Cling to the one who gave everything for you. Remember what He has done and rejoice that you are being molded into His image.

Dear Jesus, help us to cling to you in the midst of trial. When our hearts our breaking, when our world is turning upside down, help us to remember Your love for us, and the promises You have made. In our pain, it is so easy to try to make it on our own, but help us to turn to You instead. Help us to rejoice in suffering, and to endure until we see You face to face. In Your Name we pray, Amen.




Day 2: 

Obey:

Hebrews 11:17-19 “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,  of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”

In these seasons when God is testing our faith, we often feel as though we “just don’t know what we should do.” The uncertainty and fear in our lives leaves us feeling alone and confused. But in these moments more than any other, we need to step back and look at the big picture of what God has called us to. We have God’s word and thus everything we need to know. In these moments of instability, we are called to obey. Even when we don’t understand, even when it doesn’t make sense, we are called to obey what God has told us to do in His word.

Abraham was told to sacrifice his only son, the son of the covenant, the living promise that Abraham would be the father of many nations who were to dwell in the promised land. Abraham was faced with a choice. He could either do what made sense to him in the present moment, or he could believe what God had said, and trust Him to fulfill his promises. In the face of his options, Abraham knew that he had to believe what God had said and obey His command.

So often we trust our own rationalizing more than we trust what God has directly told us to do.  Charles Spurgeon said: “You and I must be willing to do what God tells us, as God tells us, when God tells us, because God tells us, but only strong faith will be equal to such complete obedience.” There is a complete surrender in obeying this way, a complete giving up of ourselves and our wishes and desires to what God has said, and a trust that He will do as He has promised.

John Piper said “Our obedience is God's pleasure when it proves that God is our treasure.” That’s the heart of the matter. Obedience says that God is more important to us than whatever else it is that we think we need. Obeying Him when it could cost us our jobs, our relationships, our health, our money, or our social standing, says to God and the world that He is infinitely more desirable than whatever would keep us from Him. His steadfast love is better than life and everything in it (Psalm 63:3). When we obey in the face of hardship, we proclaim this truth to the world. Consider the areas in your life where it’s easier to compromise obeying God’s word to the fullest and prayerfully examine where you can draw closer to Him and proclaim Him as Lord of your life with your actions.

Jesus, thank you for being steadfast in the face of our uncertainty. Thank you that no matter what is going on in our lives we can turn to you as the alpha and omega, beginning and end, first and last. You are our rock and our fortress. Help us to turn towards you when our faith is tested and to boldly obey in hard circumstances. I pray that we would see that your love is better than life and live accordingly. In Your Name, Amen.




Day 3: 

Think:

Hebrews 11:17-19 “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,  of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”

Despite what it may seem, Abraham didn’t blindly move forward in slaughtering his son without a second thought, without thinking. Verse 19 says he “considered.” He knew that God had promised to use Isaac to make Abraham the father of many nations. He knew that God did not break promises. Abraham believed God, and therefore, believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead (verse 19). This doesn’t take the pain out of killing your only son, or the difficulty out of explaining this to Sarah or Isaac. But it shows us that obedience doesn’t mean closing your eyes to truth or ignoring previous promises or situations. “He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead” (11:19). Abraham knew that Isaac would rise from the dead before God would break His promise.

We are so quick to believe that God has forgotten or abandoned us, that we are alone in our struggles, that He must not love us, because if He did, why are we walking through such suffering? We forget the promises that He has already made. “For he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So, we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5b-6). We have to remember, to think, to consider, like Abraham, the promises that God has made, and to know that even if everything seems to be falling apart, God will always do what He has said He would.

We must take these promises and boldly move forward in obedience, when it makes sense to us, and when it doesn’t, when things are going well, and when they’re falling apart. Regardless of our circumstances, our reflexive reaction needs to be faith in Him and the promises that He has made to us.

Father God, help us to remember Your promises to us and to have faith that You will always keep them. I pray that our faith in Your word would rise above every fear, anxiety, insecurity, pain, and trial, and that through our hardships we would stand firm on solid ground knowing that You aren’t finished with us yet. Hold us close to You. Be our strength when we are weak, our faithfulness when we are flighty, and our peace when we are troubled. Help us to obey out of a faithful heart that trusts You and considers Your promises, daily. In Your Name we pray, Amen.



Faith That Endures For Kids: