In Genesis 12, God speaks to Abram and promises to make him a great nation, to give him land, bless him, and curse those who curse him. This is incredible. All of mankind has rebelled against God but God in His rich grace reveals Himself and enters into a relationship with Abram. God is creating a people for Himself and He does so solely based upon His grace.
So what does Abram do? He believes God and packs up all that he has and takes his wife and his nephew Lot and they begin journeying to the land that God will provide.
But it is not long into the journey when Abram’s faith if challenged. In 12:10 we read that because of a famine they go to Egypt. And as they enter into Egypt, Abram tells his wife,
“I know that you are woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.”
At this moment, Abram’s faith in God’s promises is being challenged. And rather than trust that God will keep His promise, Abram trusts in himself and tries to scheme a way to survive. When reading this chapter, it easy for us in the comfort of our couches and lazy boys to ridicule Abram’s lack of faith. We think how silly it is for him to not trust in God, and we might even think, “I would never do that.” And while we may never ask our wives to pretend to be our sister, it is true that we often struggle to live by faith and trust in God’s promises.
When money is low, when time is short, or when suffering and pain are high, it’s easy to to stop trusting in promises like Romans 8:28,
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…”
But this is why God has given us the Bible. He has given us 66 books that speak of His character, His glory, His steadfastness, His righteousness, His grace and mercy, and so much more. God’s word proves to us with every turn of the page that He keeps His promises. And the ultimate proof is that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on a cross when we were His enemies so that by His grace and mercy we would be saved and forever experience His eternal riches in Jesus Christ. Because God sent His Son to die, we know that He will never withhold grace from those who have believed in Him. That is the point of Romans 8:32,
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Our sin will always try to cause us to doubt God’s promises. Our sin will always try to convince us to trust in ourselves rather than God. But just because our sin will try to attack us does not mean we need to fall prey to it. Romans 6:11 (ESV) says,
11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
By the grace of God we are now alive in Christ Jesus. We are no longer a slave to sin. We are now in-dwelt by the Spirit of God who is transforming us into the image of Jesus Christ. And it is through the Word of God that the Spirit is growing us in our love and knowledge and devotion to God. Let us read and study God’s Word knowing that the Spirit is strengthening us in our faith so that we would trust in God’s promises and not ourselves.