The faith of Abraham,

Part I
Though we may have a hard time seeing it, there’s never been a time when it was easy to maintain faith in God, and hope for tomorrow.  You may be one of millions of people throughout the world who are struggling to maintain any sort of balance and faith in a time of doubt.  It’s possible that at one time or another we all ponder whether God is really on the other end of the line and hears our cries for help.  I think to myself sometimes that Satan finds it easier and easier to pull people away from God because more and more people around us challenge and threaten the validity of our faith through Atheistic Humanism and Modernism with all their many tools.  
Can you imagine being possibly the only person, or family, in an entire culture, who has any faith in God at all.  That is quite probably a description of a character in the Bible we know as Abraham.  His life forms a background for those who are struggling to stay faithful to God today – not only by way of his example, but also by way of a unique call and a promise that God made to him.  Somehow, in the midst of the fertile crescent of ancient civilization, in Ur of Chaldea in ancient Mesopotamia, Abraham had caught God’s attention as a man of unique qualities, and faith in a faithless world.
The story begins with the call and the promise.   Genesis 12:1-3 (KJV) ¹ “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: ²And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: ³And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
Christians view Abraham as “the Father of all those who believe,” and the Bible tells us this is correct.  Paul writes in Romans 4:11 (NKJV) ¹¹ “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also.”  This is in keeping with God’s promise to Abraham that through his seed, all nations of the earth would be blessed: whether Jew (circumcised) or Gentile (uncircumcised). Genesis 22:18 (KJV) ¹⁸ “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”
Friends, it was the faith of Abraham that pleased God, and that qualifies him to be a great example for us.  We generally think of his faith in three particular events.  Leaving his homeland to live in a strange land, and moving from camp to camp for a lifetime merely at the commandment of God; Believing in the birth of a proper descendant even when he and Sarah were beyond the years of fertility; Being willing to offer that son as a sacrificial gift to God if this was the Lord’s will, believing that God had the power to raise him up again.  
These three events are the most visible to us, though every day in the life of Abraham was a test to his faith.  These three form a backdrop to much that the scripture says about his faith.  The Apostle Paul made reference to his faith time and again - (Ro 4:3, 18-22; Gal. 3:7-9.)  Romans 4:3, 18-22 (KJV) ³ “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. . .”   ¹⁸ “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. ¹⁹And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: ²⁰He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; ²¹And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. ²²And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.”

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