Conditional Faith?

fog“Your family and their descendants will be enslaved and abused for four hundred years, but then everything will be okay.”

Imagine receiving THAT email. How would you respond?

That’s exactly the message God delivered to Abram in Genesis 15. Among all His lofty promises, God assured Abram that he’d be fine but his family would endure four centuries of slavery in a foreign land.

It’s all so clinical as we read it in our safe, warm homes. Decades and centuries and suffering and death all sort of lose their meaning in the sweep of history. We forget that these were individuals with lives and feelings and spouses and kids–just like us.

I wonder…what would happen to my faith if God announced that everyone I love was about to be carted off into exile for a couple of centuries, and that there really was a big plan behind all of it?

Would I stay faithful, as Abram did, despite my doubts and questions? Would I keep moving forward in faith even when I couldn’t see beyond the next step?

Or would I chuck it all and make up my own plan?

Before you think this is about some guy who lived four thousand years ago, stop and look around. How often do we demand solutions to complex issues that have persisted forever–like, for a few decades. So we decide God’s not listening, and we give up His ways (love, non-violence, sacrifice) and resort to anger, political partisanship, and violence.

God looks at a big picture and a long timeline. Even when I think I see His plan, I probably don’t. Faith asks us, in Dr. King’s words, to take the next step when we can’t see the entire staircase.

The answer to our prayer may not be the result we want on our schedule. The answer may be the faith to take the next step.

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Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

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