We are saved by the grace of God through the saving acts of our Lord Jesus Christ. He must not underestimate the importance of faith, however. The Apostle Paul wrote:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
To fully understand the importance of faith to our Christian walk we need to examine the faith of Abraham. Our faith stands on the foundation of his faith. His faith was tested by God. Again Paul wrote:
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. (Romans 4:18-24)
God put Abraham to severe test:
By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. (Hebrews 11:17-19)
Abraham passed the test because Abraham believed God. He did hot focus on the circumstance that surrounded him. He held onto the Word and promises of God. In our lives, we are tested. The enemy brings us circumstances to make us doubt God’s word. We may wonder if God still loves us if he is still with us. If we are not careful, we may begin to blame our troubles on God.
But God is still with us. He does still love us.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
The psalmist wrote:
Love the Lord, all you his saints.
The Lord preserves the faithful,
but abundantly repays the one who acts haughtily.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord. (Psalm 31:21-24)
In the Book of James, we read:
My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
“In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” (John 16:33)
Abraham would not be distracted by circumstances. He lived by a faith that manifested in obedience to God:
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:8-10)