Hey so this really hit me personally today. I’m going to be a little too honest for some people, so if you don’t want to read anything about my personal life, then you can leave now. Paul decided to bring up an example of faith that honestly, is remarkable and I aspire to have. That’s the faith of Abraham. This is not saying that he was perfect in any way, but he definitely has faith in God.
“in God’s sight. As it is written: I have made you the father of many nations. He believed in God, who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist. He believed, hoping against hope, so that he became the father of many nations according to what had been spoken: So will your descendants be. He considered his own body to be already dead (since he was about 100 years old) and also considered the deadness of Sarah’s womb, without weakening in the faith. He did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. Therefore, it was credited to him for righteousness.”
Romans 4:17-22Hcsb Bible
So to understand why this affected me so much is because honestly, I’ve been a part time youth pastor for almost 3 years and now have been posting on this blog for a little over half a year. What do I have to show for it? Well I do have a few followers (thanks by the way. It means a lot), and a small group of less than 10 that come to group on a regular basis. There are a couple that regularly show up and show interest while I’m teaching but I don’t see too much fruit of their changed life.
I’ve regularly seen kids come and go quickly because either their parents don’t like church (all of the kids in my youth group are bus kids and don’t have family in church), they move or they ignore my calls to see if they wanted to be picked up. In any case, I am not seeing much fruit from my labor if any at all.
Now I’m not saying that my goal is to have the biggest youth group or even the most groundbreaking influential group for Christ, but rather I want to see them grow and be more mature with Christ. I want to see at least the purpose that God promises when he said his word doesn’t go out in vain( Isaiah 55:10-11). I know he has a purpose for his word when given out.
It’s got to the point that I’ve thought of hanging up the towel and stop being a youth pastor for a while. I will still be a Christian that works and reads his Bible. I would still continue posting my thoughts on verses for others to see, but the thought of stop being a youth pastor has crossed my mind over the past year. It’s especially got worse after COVID hit and I’ve been hindered even more from connecting my students with Gods word.
But this this passage hit me. It reminded me of someone that has so much faith, more than I most likely sometimes. It’s also a story that I’ve read on countless occasions and know fairly well.
Abraham was promised to be the father of many nations even though he was 100 years old at the time. This seems impossible without God and I would understand if he had some doubts. But he continued to have faith and eventually Sarah bore him the son of promise. The son that he would have many nations come from. So there was that little inkling of hope that God was going to fulfill his promise, but it was still only one baby at that point.
He was already over 100 years old and then later God decided to strengthen and test his faith by telling him to sacrifice his one and only son of promise. Imagine the mental gymnastics that might have been going through this mans head. He’s already past the age of having a kid(in human standards), God is telling him to give up his son, then how in the world will he be the father of many nations at this point?
But Abraham goes ahead and does it anyways. Of course God doesn’t let Abraham sacrifice Isaac but by the end of his life, he died at the age 175 years old. He had kids and grandkids at this point and had to wait decades to see that. He still didn’t see the nations that God promised though and that’s fine, because as we see throughout history, he did end up becoming a father of nations.
Each step of his life was marked by faith in God and what he promised. When he was told to leave his family and go to a foreign land, when he was told he would have a son and then later tested to see if he valued God more than his personal desires.
What I’m getting at is that Paul reminds us of a man of faith here that dwarfs anything that I believe God has called me to do or experience so far. This reminded me that the promise that God said about his promise of his word not going out in vain still applies if I don’t see it occur in a year, decade or even my own lifetime.
I’m really encouraged by this. I’m encouraged to keep going. I may not be a youth pastor or even a pastor the rest of my life, but I definitely will hold true to Gods promises. I will continue to do what God calls me to do. I will continue to have faith in Jesus Christ and his purpose for my life.
My questions to you today is this, what are you personally struggling with to have faith in God about? Are you continuing to hold on to his promises? Do you have faith like Abraham?
If you have any questions or thoughts, I would like to hear them. So leave a comment and I’ll respond when I can.