Trusting God in the Gaps
by Halim Suh
In the life of Abraham, we catch a glimpse of "resurrection" faith---the kind that results in life from death---when Abram looked at his own body and saw that no life would be possible from him. He saw that the only hope of producing life had to come from God acting in his life, making something possible that was impossible for Abram to accomplish on his own.
That is the essence of our faith too. We look at our lives and see there is no possibility of life coming from us on our own. We contemplate our realities and are moved to see the need for a Savior. We are incapable of life without Someone to save us from ourselves. The faith that comes as we realize our need for God is the exact kind of faith we see in Abram. This is what characterizes "resurrection"---saving---faith.
Saving Faith, Not Perfect Faith
But there is still that pesky gap, isn't there? We believe God, but when confronted with circumstances that cause us to wonder if God will really come through, we see that saving faith is not always perfect faith. Abram himself cried out to God, immediately after God had just reminded him of the promise he would keep: "Lord GOD, how can I know that I will possess it?" After everything, Abram's heart still says, "Yes, I believe you, but how will I know that you are going to come through?"
Saving faith brings righteousness, but it also has fears, doubts, and struggles; ultimately its only hope is God. That is exactly what we see from Abram, who lived in the great gap between promise and reality. And that is where we live too.
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In Abram's day, a covenant was made by two people passing through the cut-up pieces of animals arrayed on the ground, with this understanding: If one party broke the covenant, then may what happened to these animals happen to them as well. Both parties were on the hook and subject to the penalty if they broke their promise to the other.
Yet when God made the covenant with Abram in Genesis 15:17-21, we see something unique. Who passed between the animal pieces? Not Abram and God, but God alone passed through.
As Abram was wondering, "God, how can I know with 100 percent certainty that you are going to fulfill these things you have promised?" God answered by assuming the full risk of the covenant…
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