Considering the Possibilities

19 He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.

Hebrews 11:19

Abraham was in the act of plunging a knife into the chest of his son Isaac from whom he was promised descendants as numerous as the particles of sand on the seashore when God suddenly stopped him. While emotionally he was undoubtedly in turmoil, his faith, remaining rational and logical, caused him to consider God fully capable of raising Isaac from the dead after the fact.

My faith, probably your faith, has never been put to such a test. If and when it is, we need to “consider the possibilities,” and with God, all things are possible. Yes, we know that, but easier said than done.

I always try to focus on his ability to make something out of nothing, to pull things out of thin air. We, in our frailty, think we’ve got to go with what we’ve got, to make the best of things we can see. Try considering, as Abraham did, the inconceivable, the impossible.

But the point of Hebrews 11 is yes, he can do the impossible, he can pull a rabbit out of his hat, but is that in his grand scheme of things?

I ask the question, in this instance, if Abraham had to follow through, and had to bury his dead son on that mountain, was God still faithful? We read that not all the stalwarts of faith in this chapter met a happy fate. It’s one thing to believe God can make it right as we would want, or hope, or believe, another for us to stomach him allowing the worse case to happen.

Fact is, we are told and reminded that these greats of the faith are greatly to be praised for their faith alone, not so much for their heroics.

Our faith should contemplate God’s infinite, creative, and inscrutable power absolutely. But we should be far more like Daniel’s three friends before they were tossed into the fiery furnace. They left the outcome to him. That’s what we get credit for.

17 “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Daniel 3:17–18

What he wants out of us is more abiding trust and less calculation. He’s got everything.

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for 40 years and counting.
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