I am forever changed by grief, but grief is not the full measure of my life in Christ. “GLEANINGS from Claudia — The Abiding Life” explores this life attached to the One True Vine.
“Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Genesis 15:6
This morning the Lord showed me some things about belief and faith. In Genesis 15 Abram has just come from a battle where he successfully rescued Lot and Lot’s possessions from four kings. The first thing God says to him is “Do not be afraid Abram, I am your shield, your very great reward.” Abram immediately asks “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” (Genesis 15:2, 3) The Lord’s response is to say that a child from Abram’s own body will be his heir and then he takes Abram outside and shows him the stars in the sky telling him “so shall your offspring be.” The next line is the one that blesses me “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” What I love best about this statement is what follows this affirmation from the Lord. The Lord reminds Abram that he brought him out of Ur to take possession of the land. Now remember that Abram has just come from a battle where he managed to rescue Lot, but he has gained no ground in the fight. Abram’s very natural question is “How can I know that I will gain possession of it?” Now to me, if belief relied upon accepting and understanding every nuance of God’s work and will in our lives, the next line should read “Abram doubted the Lord, and he docked his righteousness.” Instead the Lord takes Abram through an elaborate ceremony during which he gives Abram a glimpse at the future and seals his promise to give Abram possession of the land.
Psalms 15 and Matthew 15 described similar situations to me. In both I see pictures of people doing and acting right even in the face of daunting circumstances. I realized that ‘belief’ or ‘faith’ is only partially about what we think we can affirm and agree with, but is even more about acting upon our understanding of the character of the God we know. The Canaanite mother in Matthew 15 knew Jesus could heal her daughter. She knew this so much that she continued to pursue Jesus and her daughter’s healing even when it seemed Jesus would have none of it. And in the final analysis Jesus acts on behalf of this mother and daughter. Walking boldly forward in the face of that which can’t be completely known is faithful. Asking questions of God and seeking His explanation and knowledge of the details of a situation is also faithful. Who better to tell us what He knows? Just keep following Him, keep asking the questions and know that He will guide one step at a time all the way to the place to which He calls you.
“LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? … who keeps his oath even when it hurts … He who does these things will never be shaken.” Psalms 15:1, 4, 5
“Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” Matthew 15:28