“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, 'Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.' He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”

Hebrews 11:17-19


Abraham knew his calling—the promise of a great legacy that would descend from his only son, Isaac. Isaac was the promise that Abraham had been in pursuit of, and likely Abraham felt that he had arrived once Isaac was coming of age. As the story goes, he was asked to sacrifice that dream at a time of testing, and it was his faith that drove him to bring his son as a sacrifice to God. He obeyed, prepared to 'return' the promise that he had been given, knowing God's plan was the best thing for his life and his son’s life. Many times, we feel that our current circumstances don’t add up with the promise God has for us. The great thing is that we have the ability to tap into the same gift of faith that Abraham had. God is moved by our faith, rather than our need.

Abraham must've known this from his conversations with God. He knew God’s character and knew that His desire was for Abraham’s dreams to come true—not just for Abraham’s sake, but for the sake of the entire world, so that they could see God’s perfect love for His people. Abraham knew God's voice well by this time, and so having faith that He would provide in the midst of a difficult time and in baffling circumstances wasn't a religious act but a natural response to who he knew God to be.

To Abraham, it didn't matter that his current circumstances—being asked to sacrifice his only son—didn't match the promise of his descendants and legacy. In the Message version of this scripture, it actually says that "Abraham figured that if God wanted to He could raise the dead." Abraham exemplifies the incredible freedom that comes from God's gift of faith; the evidence that Christ was present in this world so much that even death wasn't a reason to doubt that God's promise would happen. Faith was never in question; the only mystery was how God would come through.

Even if our current circumstances do not seem to reflect what we know God has promised, we can take heart! We can believe the impossible, knowing that even if the dream seems dead or the situation looks bleak, God can revive it! He is for us—He already has the answers to our circumstances, and the faith we have been freely given is our key to see God's promises happen in our world.

Tabitha Akins