“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1
Ever find yourself waiting endlessly for an unfulfilled dream? Perhaps it’s something you prayed for and believed God to give, maybe even a desire you believe God planted in your heart. No matter how close you get to achieving that dream, the door seems to shut each and every time. If you’re like me, you’re left wondering why? You may question if you heard God correctly. You may even think God must want the complete opposite for you (yep, I’ve thought that one many times too.)
Whenever the desire of my heart becomes a deep longing ache that seems like it will never be fulfilled, I think of Abraham and his dream of an heir. God promised an heir to Abraham before He changed Abraham’s name. But the promise didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen 9 months from the day God spoke to Abraham. It didn’t happen when Abraham tried creating his own miracle by sleeping with Hagar and producing Ishmael. It took 25 years for God to give Sarah and Abraham, Isaac. He was nearly 100 years old when he finally received God’s promise specifically for him.
There are a lot of studies on the lessons learned from Abraham’s waiting: trusting God without questioning, undying faith, refinement through the process of waiting. But the greater lesson learned is not Abraham’s waiting, it was the test God put him through after he received his promised heir. Abraham’s waiting for 25 years, moving to a strange land, separating from his nephew, fathering a child that wasn’t God’s promised child-all of that was enough testing to break the average person’s faith. Even though Abraham remained obedient, God still tested him further by asking Abraham to sacrifice his promised heir.
Some of you not familiar with this story might be thinking “Are you kidding me? What kind of a God would not only take away the promise He gave but ask someone to kill their own child? Is God playing mind games with Abraham?” Some might even think God was cruel to do that? But it wasn’t about cruelty or mind games, it was about opportunity. The opportunity for Abraham to show who he loved most-God or his promised son, Isaac? And Abraham proved his greater love for God. Because of Abraham’s faith in that final test, God spared Isaac. Abraham’s obedience brought the rest of the promise to fruition for we are all descendants of Abraham.
What is the desire of your heart? Has God fulfilled your desire or are you still in the waiting season? Have you received the promise but suddenly faced with the possibility of losing it? God may even be calling you to sacrifice the very thing He gave you, the dream or person you prayed for and love most in this world, merely to see if who or what you love more, the dream, the person, or Him? If the promise came from God, no matter what happens, God will provide the ram, just like He did for Abraham. He will give you the desire of your heart. God always keeps His promises. So don’t doubt Him, just obey. Obedience is the best way to pass God’s tests. Abraham was the picture perfect example of that. For greater details on Abraham’s faith read Genesis chapters 12-22.