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Monday, July 1, 2019

Test: By Faith: Prayers and Poetry

Hebrews 11:17, “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.”


This passage brings up so many mixed memories that it is not a once for all decision to relinquish that which we hold as treasure, but may need to be repeated many times. We can so easily confuse a promise with an end result done our way and miss the blessing, or healing.

We might resist the desire to leave a highly stressful job situation, because we know beyond a shadow of a doubt God had called us there, and in our mind to leave would be breaking a commitment. Despite the fact that everyone praying for us may all agree that a change needs to be made as we face increasing despair every day. Then a wise person quietly mentions that although God had called him to a particular role, He had also guided him when it was time to leave for another location. We can cling for the wrong reasons. And when we finally open our hands to new possibilities, a whole new season opens up, still using the same skills yet in a fresher and deeper manner.

However if a child is born in distress, we have no hesitation handing his care over to an unknown pediatrician. We trust immediately that this complete stranger would do whatever necessary to bring relief to our newborn. Contrary to an anxiety-ridden personality, we have complete peace. Because God steps in and covers us in His care. If we are a newborn in faith we may not be ready to be tested, only protected.

Often we may need to double check just how tight-fisted we are with the people around us, or time, or resources. We resist change and like safety. One Resurrection Sunday, our pastor referred to the reality of  “Christ is Risen” as dangerous hope. It can take awhile to process that concept into our daily life. Could that be exactly why Abraham was able to meet God’s test of faith? He recognized the danger but trusted with a whole heart as well.

Lord, please forgive us when we hold too tightly to anyone, or to any dreams You have given us, with self-centered clenched fists instead of open hands of trust. Help us to recognize You and follow Your plans with dangerous hope.

Your thoughts,

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