Romans 4:20-25 “Yet he [Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,  being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why it was credited to him as righteousness.’  The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone,  but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

     The life of a faithful person is a fully persuaded life – not mostly persuaded, half persuaded or somewhat persuaded but fully persuaded!  The example Paul is using here is Abraham.  Abraham was a fully persuaded man.  Why?  The Forerunner Commentary states: “There was nothing vague about God to Abraham. His relationship with God was of such intimacy that he thoroughly understood His character and purpose.  . . .  He chose to trust the One he knew has the power and is faithful.”

     How did Abraham come to be a fully persuaded man?  Abraham walked with God, talked with God, followed God’s instructions and believed everything God said to him.  Matthew Henry writes: “The nature and power of Abraham’s faith are shown. He believed God’s testimony, and looked for the performance of his promise, firmly hoping when the case seemed hopeless.”  We too can have this kind of righteousness provided we live this kind of intimacy with God. 

     Trust is to look for ‘the performance of God coming through on his promises’ in our life.  Do we do that?  This is quite a challenge; “Unbelief is at the bottom of all our staggerings at God’s promises. The strength of faith appeared in its victory over fears. God honours faith; and great faith honours God.” (Matthew Henry)  Do we know God well enough to trust Him?  Sadly many times our life shows otherwise no matter what our mouths say.

    Like the father of the child that Jesus healed we want to believe –  we need to believe – yet can’t seem to come up with the faith needed.  Jesus tells us: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23) We are left crying out; “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (v. 24)  How we stagger!  How we struggle with unbelief!  Are we not fully persuaded!  Yet it is in that heart cry to Jesus for help when all else, even our faith, fails that our fully persuaded life unfolds into reality.

     The cry; “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” contains our desperate predicament as frail humans and the mighty Power of God.  Paul tells us: “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. . . . Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” (Romans 14:1,4)  Call out to Jesus, He will stand in the gap of your unbelief and carry you.  Some can’t even believe this.

     The Gospel good news is that faith is in the small steps just as much as it is in the great leap.   Remember what the Bible says about Peter walking on the water; “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said,’Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind,  he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him,  ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat,  the wind ceased. Then those in the boat worshiped him, saying,’Truly you are  the Son of God.’” (Matthew 14;28-32)  We need to remember that even Peter staggered with unbelief even while he was walking on the water!  And it was Jesus who kept his head above water not Peter’s faith!

     A fully persuaded life comes about with many many small steps of trusting in God’s promises and calling out to Him to save us.  A fully persuaded life is a life of depending on Jesus to come through when you see the ‘wind and the waves’ all around you – when you start to sink you must call out ‘Lord save me!’  Jesus knows that we will struggle with doubt.  Those who prevail are those who call out to the Lord!  

     Faith isn’t killed by momentary doubt.  It is killed by living in silence; “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

     Praise the Lord!

     

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