Faith in Difficult Times- Part 3

 The Purpose of the Path to the Promise of Faith

The promise of faith looks foolish to the eye of the natural man. The Lord needs to open our eyes. The path of this promise is full challenges,and it is not for anyone who wants. It demands us to focus and trust on him. The big question now is this- what is the purpose of all these? Why does it have to be this way? Faith and pressing times!

Well, the purpose of the path to the promise of Faith is that God is working in Abraham and Sarah, to make them strip off any dependency they have on themselves; their ideas [Hagar], manipulation, shrewd schemes. He wants them to grow in patience and know that He is a Covenant keeping God and human hands do not serve him, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. He is sufficient and wants the couple to rest on that.

Genesis 21:1-7 ESV– The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised.  (2)  And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him.  (3)  Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.  (4)  And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.  (5)  Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.  (6)  And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.”  (7)  And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

See how her paradigm shifts. Before, she was busy, trying to make sure she has chipped in to help God accomplish his work of giving a son. She turned to Hagar. It failed and brought her tears and sorrow. Now, the Lord has accomplished his work in her, and she is now convinced that ‘God has made laughter for her.’ That is what God is interested in doing- to receive all the glory as we experience the joy.

The purpose of the path to the promise of faith is to get us to a stable focus on the object of our faith and not ourselves. It is for our Transformation and for his glory.

We have seen that Abraham and Sarah’s story is an excellent reminder to us about the gift of salvation we have received from Jesus. It may not make sense, but it does make faith. We have also noticed that the path/ route is not as easy and all milky but rather full of challenges and failures. We have also noted that the challenges are neutralized when we realize who it is that saved us and now sustains us. The question now is, “what is the point/ purpose of all these for us?”

The purpose is so that our lives can be to the glory of God by faith in his Son. God will allow us moments of barrenness if that will help us come to a place where we are stable in our focus on the object of our faith [Jesus Christ], and we are transforming into the image of the Son whom he loves!

2 Corinthians 4:13-18 ESV– Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak,  (14)  knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.  (15)  For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people, it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.  (16)  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  (17)  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  (18)  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Romans 5:1-5 ESVTherefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (2) Through him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  (3)  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  (4)  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  (5)  and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

James 1:2-4 ESVCount it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, (3) for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  (4)  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 Corinthians 15:58 ESVTherefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain.

Jesus was made perfect through the sufferings he went through. We will go through this rough and tough path so that God’s work may be accomplished through us and that God may be glorified.

Conclusion:

Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. All we are going through is so that:

a. We may get to have a relationship with Christ through the Transforming power of the Gospel. Regeneration/ salvation. Are you in the faith today? Repent and believe the Gospel. It is foolishness to man, but God used it to bring dead men life and glory to his name.

b. We can learn that our efforts are zero before the Lord. We cannot help him. In fact, he must work his work or else we are doomed and barren for life. Have you come to love him as the creator, all-powerful, invincible God? He works all things- even the tough journey of faith in Jesus- for our good. This,too, is to make us see that there is a better weight of glory being prepared for us while we go through waves of our relationship. To know that he is working for his people and for His glory.

c. We may get to become the refined vessels he designed us to be. The pilot of our faith suffered many things to be made perfect. The saints of old have gone through the same things. The purpose for this is so that we may be transformed more and more into the image of Jesus Christ and in that, God is glorified!

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