simply trusting / taking God at his word

He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Genesis 15

Abraham is called both the father of many nations, and the father of all who believe. The passage quoted above is a key in the Genesis narrative on Abraham, echoed by Paul in Romans 4. We do see fits and starts, and hesitations, along with even gaffes along the way, in Abraham and his wife, Sarah’s faith. But by and large as Paul points out in Romans 4, and the writer to the Hebrews does as well in the “faith chapter” of Hebrews 11, they had a true faith, which over time was strengthened, even if it had its moments.

Fastforward to us today, which actually Paul does in Romans 4, and for us who are the children of Abraham, the distinctive which marks us out is faith, simply taking God at his word. Only with that kind of faith, could Abraham have the audacity to be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac on an altar in obedience to God’s command to him. Abraham’s faith in God’s word was so literal, that he imagined with a sanctified imagination to be sure, that God indeed not only could, but surely would raise up Isaac from the dead. Only by the same kind of faith, can we expect to be enabled to follow. It’s a faith which like Abraham’s, surely will be tested. But the test is passed by simply taking God at his word, simply believing, and in that, simply trusting God.

I don’t sing hymns as much as I should (I listen to classical music), and I may have quibbles with this or that in some hymns, but the point of the hymn I’m about to quote is well stated, and right down to where we live. As well as pointing out the importance of living by faith, which begins by believing God’s word to us. One could say being open to God, and God’s voice in the first place, if we look at the story of Abraham. But we can’t be too strong in stressing the importance of faith in God through faith in his word, when it’s all said and done. I think this hymn communicates the kind of faith we need to have.

1. Simply trusting every day,
Trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Refrain:
Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

2. Brightly doth His Spirit shine
Into this poor heart of mine;
While He leads I cannot fall;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

3. Singing if my way is clear,
Praying if the path be drear;
If in danger for Him call;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

4. Trusting Him while life shall last,
Trusting Him till earth be past;
Till within the jasper wall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

 

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