Advent Day 9: The Ultimate Test

The older I become, the more I realize that my story is less about me and more about God. He is writing my narrative. He is testing my faith. And if I lean into the voice of the Holy Spirit, I can see the story of redemption being penned. My prayer is that you see God working in your life today too.

This is the purpose of God in all that he does in creation and redemption. God’s purpose in all that he does is: to magnify his sovereign grace and keep us in our humble place.

John Piper, Desiring God

Let God Write Your Story

Read Genesis 22:1-14. God made a promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:2, “I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, and so you shall be a blessing.” When Abraham and Sarah were well up in years, Sarah finally gives birth to their long-awaited son, Isaac. There must have been an overwhelming, celebratory, exuberant kind of joy at the birth of their baby boy! 

Little did they know…God wasn’t done. There was an even greater test of faith to come.

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

Genesis 22:1-2

A Test of Faith

As Abraham journeyed to Moriah, he must have felt overwhelmed with emotion. Confusion. Doubt. Anger. A ball all mixed-up, twisted and tied. Why would God ask him to sacrifice his beloved son? There is no way that Abraham could put the pieces together. He had no idea…God was painting a picture, a foreshadowing, of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 1:29

A Justifying Faith

God was illustrating to all mankind what justifying faith looks like. God asks us to do many difficult and painful things, but we can be confident that Emmanuel God is with us…even in the hard. It can be scary to trust God when He asks us to do something against our instincts and abilities. We can’t always make sense of God. Remember. Reflect. We have a trustworthy, sovereign God. 

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.

James 2:21-23

God provided a ram in the thicket as a substitute sacrifice that particular day of old. But years later, our God would give His one and only Son to pay the ultimate sacrifice for you. 

Whatever you are facing today…remember Jesus is with you. The path that Jesus walked here on earth is much harder than anything we have had to endure. He is building in us a persevering faith, the kind that is tested and tried by fire (Romans 4:22-25). When our flesh is weak, ask for help. He is here to help and strengthen you (Isaiah 41:10).

Is there anything God is asking you to offer up to Him? Are you clinching too tight, holding on, rather than giving it over to Him?