“Wrestling With Romans”
Dare to Trust Him (Chapter 4 Verses 1-25)
The fact that salvation is by grace (v16), guarantees the thing, makes it a sure thing. The one thing you cannot be sure of is yourself, trusting in anything you do. You can be sure when you are trusting in the God who does not tell lies (Titus.1.1-2), who never goes back on his word, who keeps his promises, utterly faithful. You only have a proper view of truth when you dare, when you risk trusting implicitly on what God has said about himself and his saving work. Faith is spelt RISK. You are dared if you like, to believe God’s promise, but when you think about it, it is not really much of a risk, because his promise is as guaranteed as he himself is, utterly faithful. That is food for our souls is it not, not just knowledge. If we believe it, it is a sword with which to destroy every one of Satan’s malicious lies about God (Ephesians 6.17). If we truly believe it, it is a shield against the tide of trials, temptations, all the fiery darts of the enemy (Ephesians 6.16). If we truly believe it, it will become the great motivating factor in our lives, nourishing a deep passion for Jesus, increasing our measure of hope and expectation for the future (Hebrews 11.1). It is, if truly believed, the cause for Christian celebration, because, if by faith you have been reconciled to God and counted as a friend of God, like Abraham, you can praise and rejoice in the loyalty of God the Father (Psalm 89.1-8; Psalm 92.1-2; Lamentations 2.23), and the Faithful and True witness of Jesus Christ his Son (Revelation 19.11).
They in the Lord that firmly trust,
Shall be like Sion hill;
Which at no time can be remov’d,
But standeth ever still.
As round about Jerusalem,
The mountains stand alway;
The Lord his folk doth compass so,
From henceforth and for aye.
(Psalm 125, vv1-2, Metrical, Scottish Psalter)
God’s promise not only stands written, but to both Abraham and us, it is guaranteed, it stands firm (vv16-17).
Note the language here, “I have made thee” (v17), it is already done, and Abraham believed God. That God is he that calls into being nations who are as yet nonexistent. Further, Abraham believed in the resurrection of the dead (Hebrews 11.19), which included the belief that his God was able to renew the decaying bodies of both himself and Sarah, to be able to produce the child of promise. It is all faith, faith in a miracle-working God. A God who is active, in our daily lives and circumstances who directly intervenes. It is of course just that sort of God some people do not want. “Just leave me alone,” they say. Perhaps he will.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)