May 24 I Friday
1 Chronicles 22-24
“Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.” —Romans 4:4-5
Why would Paul include the Old Testament figure, Abraham, in the middle of his letter to the Romans? Abraham is known as the father of the nation of Israel, but Paul notes that he is also the father of those of us who believe. Just as Abraham was made right with God on the basis of faith, so too are we as believers made right with Him and are able to experience His working in our circumstances in the same manner.
We may sometimes think that faith is a sort of Christian word or religious word, but it is not. Faith is an everyday activity where we let an object do something for us, like when we trust a car or a plane to take us from one place to another. Faith is a disposition of trust in an object that allows that object to work on our behalf. In other words, faith does not depend on what we could do for the object but what the object could do for us. The object in which our faith is placed is the all-important thing that determines the validity of our faith.
For example, if we sit with all the faith in the world on a weak chair with a wobbly leg, we are going to end up sitting on the floor—not because our faith was weak but because the chair was inadequate as the object of our faith. In other words, our faith is only as strong as the object we place our faith in.
This is why it is important to ask ourselves what we are placing our faith in. We learn from Paul that, “It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of
the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith” (Romans 4:13).
Even though Abraham’s body was as good as dead and his wife Sarah’s womb was also dead, Abraham held onto his faith in God’s promise that he would be the father of many nations. Paul writes, “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” (Romans 4:20-21).
Who did Abraham put his faith in? Abraham believed in the God who gives life to the dead, and the story ends with Sarah conceiving their promised child, Isaac.
As descendants of Abraham, we can also place our faith in the Almighty God, the most faithful object of our faith, who will never let us down.
Prayer: Almighty God, thank You for being the most faithful object of our faith. May my trust in Your faithfulness ever increase.