Romans 4:20-21 says, “He didn’t doubt God’s promise out of a lack of faith. Instead, giving honor to God [for the promise], he became strong because of faith 21 and was absolutely confident that God would do what he promised.”
Abraham is fondly known to many religions around the world as the Father of Faith. Preachers around the world have shared on the subject of faith, for it is the foundation stone on which the church is built. Many have presented impeccable theological understandings about faith; while others have used some of the most creative means to describe faith. So, with so many great teachings on the subject, it is somewhat intimidating to put out in print, yet another explanation of such a tried, tested and time rich topic. Yet, the depths of this subject are as deep and wide as God, Himself, so there may be no end to the talking points related to this subject, therefore, the decision to bring one more swing at the subject prevailed.
Two primary points jumped out of this text in Romans 4, which is what compelled me to write my perspective on Abraham’s understanding of faith. This is not an exhaustive list, it is just an addition to the wealth of information of the subject. Faith has 2 primary components to it, one faith believes and two faith produces.
1. Faith believes in the face of the facts.
The fact is Abraham was 99 years old when the angel of the Lord told him, he was going to have a son. Now I know some people think 99 years old was not actually 99 years old back then since they lived so long, but the days of man’s life was cut to 70 after the flood and Abraham was born after the flood, so 99 years old then is the same as 99 years old now. 99 years old, my grandma is 99 years old, she can barely make it, with her walker from the couch to the kitchen table to eat lunch, the dude was 99 years old. This is the fact. Romans 4:19 says, He did not weaken in faith when he considered the impotence of this own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.” Not only was Abraham impotent, 99 years old, nearly dead, Sarah was 87 years old and had been barren all her life. The facts were almost comical, no wonder Sarah laughed!
When we look at the facts of our situation, whatever it may be, in light of the facts of Abraham and Sarah’s situation, it really puts in perspective, that if they could believe God for the miracle of a child who came from Sarah’s 87 year old body, how much more can we believe God for that job, that spouse, that baby, that breakthrough. It is an insult to talk to God about our problems without faith, when Abraham and Sarah had plenty of factual reasons to debate with God about this promise He was giving to them.
2. Faith produces.
Faith produces everything we need in order to get the promise God has spoken to us. Faith produces strength, Abraham and Sarah needed supernatural strength to come together as husband and wife, so they could produce what they believed God was promising them. This was no an intellectual ascent they were making, this took some physical activity. They experienced the strength that faith produces.
Faith produces empowerment for success. God released a supernatural empowerment that opened Sarah’s womb, he released the empowerment that both Abraham and Sarah needed in order to produce a child. God is in the empowerment business. We quit so easily we do not recognize or tap into God’s empowerment, because when our strength runs out we quit, but there is a whole other level of strength that comes if we don’t quit to early. God loves to empower us for success, but it takes faith to keep going, when you want to quit, in order to step into the empowerment that comes through faith.
Faith believes in the face of the facts, faith produces strength, faith produces empowerment and as we praise and glorify God, the result will be full satisfaction and assurance of God’s ability to do what He said He would do. Abraham and Sarah have experienced a faith that produces, because they believed. Abraham understands faith and he wants us to understand it as well, but it takes us doing something that we do not think we can do, until you step out, you will not see the power of God at work in your faith.