July 27, 2023

Testing our Faith

Genesis 22:8-12

“Do not lay a hand on the boy. . . . Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

—  Genesis 22:12

Abraham’s faith is severely tested in this episode. How it must have pained him to look into the face of the son he loved so dearly, knowing that this long-promised child was to become a sacrifice. Yet Abraham trusted that God would somehow make a way when there seemed to be no way out. Abraham displayed a surprising, unshakeable faith in the almighty, good God, who keeps his promises.

Here God put Abraham to the ultimate test of faith. God needed to know who really held first place in Abraham’s heart. And Abraham needed to know that God could be completely trusted. For this reason Abraham was asked to surrender his most precious treasure to God.

What is your most precious treasure? What might you be holding on to because it’s more important to you than life itself? My guess is that it’s probably a very good thing. But if a good thing becomes a distraction that pulls you away from God, it can become an idol, and that is a bad thing.

Sometimes God has to do the painful work of prying our fingers off that treasure so that we can give back to him what belongs to him in the first place. Nothing is truly safe or secure until it is surrendered and dedicated to God.

Father, help us to release our treasures into your hands. May we hold loosely what you have given us while holding tightly to you. Guide us to find our true joy in you. Amen.

About the author — Dan Jongsma

Daniel Jongsma serves as an interim pastor in Fulton, Illinois. He has pastored congregations in Elmhurst and Fulton, Illinois; in Dearborn, Michigan; and in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan also served as a church planter in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

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