By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:8–10).
Abraham acted just like one of the rice farmers in my village in India, who right after the monsoon season prepares his paddy field with his water buffaloes. Then he sows the seeds all over the field. He cannot see them, though, because the field is flooded. But if he just waits a few weeks, all the little green plants will come up; and if he waits a few more months, he will reap a rice harvest.
In ministry as well as in our personal life, even though we’ve planted the right crop, it doesn’t guarantee there won’t be trials along the way. Often when we encounter difficulties, inconvenience, pain and relationship problems, our immediate reaction is to second-guess the decisions we made. And if things don’t change in our favor soon, we walk away, telling ourselves that it must not have been God’s will after all.
Abraham was different. Although he encountered hardship, famine, enemies, war, personal failures, family problems, 25 years of waiting for a son and the Mount Moriah test in his Promised Land, he never reversed his decision and quit his life of faith.
And what happened? God used each of these difficulties to teach him, change him and cause his faith to grow stronger.
If we determine to stick with the right decision regardless of the adversities we face, God will use each one of our trials for a greater purpose. Our character will become more Christlike, our faith will grow, and we will become more useful for God’s kingdom.
My dear brothers and sisters, only eternity will prove and show what our life meant here on earth. When Abraham made his decision, I don’t think he had a comprehensive understanding of the significance of his choice. In fact, I think he was surprised when he went to heaven and learned the significance of his role in God’s purpose for the nation of Israel, for the coming of the Savior of the world and for us, the Bride of Christ.
In 100 years from now, what are the things that will really matter in our own lives? May this understanding strengthen our resolve to give our life—our all—to see Christ’s greatest dream and ambition fulfilled: “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
Are you living for your eternal future?