God reckoned Abraham as righteous. That’s to say Abraham walked right with God. And God was satisfied. So, it seems to me that God has an appetite for righteousness. Are you righteous? How do we know? What does righteousness look like?
Does it mean being obedient to God’s law? If you know Abraham’s story, then you know he was obedient when God told him to leave home and go acquire land in the great unknown. However, it wouldn’t be for another few hundred years that God would give the law to Moses while he was leading Abraham’s descendants through the wilderness.
Maybe it means being perfectly good all the time? Never ceasing to do the right thing. Abraham was a good and just person, so much so God sends Melchizedek to blesses Abraham. But to be honest, Abraham was far from perfect. He was human like you and me. Although, there were a few times when his mistakes almost put God’s covenant in jeopardy.
There were also times when Abraham questioned and challenged God whose promise seemed a bit too good to be true. Although he was no saint, God reckoned Abraham righteous. Why? Simply because Abraham trusted what God said and lived his life accordingly.
No matter how messy his life got or how impossible things seemed be, Abraham held onto the hope of God’s word. And as such, God didn’t let him down.
There are many different ways we hold on to hope. My kids hope to pass a test. My friend hopes to get a job. And I hope more people will support our ministry. But as I have learned in life, whenever I put my hope in material things or in people, I expect to be disappointed because whether it’s intentional or unintentional, these things will let us down. Just as there will always be finite disappointment, we also have infinite hope in the One who will never let us down.
Read Romans 4:18-22
"Hoping against hope, Abraham believed.” This tells me that our righteousness is tied to what we believe. And not just any belief either. I can believe my kids when they say they did their homework, but it doesn’t mean they did it. I can believe my wife when she says she’s ready to go, but it doesn’t mean I won’t still be waiting another half hour to leave. I can believe my eyes see words on a page, but to believe that those words mean something to the way I live my life takes having faith in those words. Abraham believed the words God said to him, and his faith was made stronger because of it. This is true for us as well.
This does not to say Abraham never doubted, or never tried to take matters into his own hands. But when it mattered, Abraham faithfully trusts in God’s covenant promise, he believed and his faith grew and strengthened. Because of his faith, Abraham could step out of his comfort zone, to take great risks, and do what God has called him to do. And so can we. If we believe that God’s promises are real and trustworthy, then we have all that we need to do all that God needs us to do. Righteousness is tied to God’s righteous word…where we can put our hope.
With the looming threat of climate change, the current state of world politics, or a schizophrenic economy it’s easy for people feel hopeless. This sense of hopelessness, along with all the hypocrisy and division found in our religious communities, have pushed people to lose faith or stop believing all together.
If you’re feeling like this, you’re not alone. The Bible is filled with people who felt hopeless: Job, Moses, Jonah, Jeremiah, and Elijah - all of these biblical heroes went through a crisis of faith. Imagine being a disciple and witnessing Jesus’ death. How does one recover one’s faith after the rug is pulled out from underneath all you believed in? They trusted that God’s word is true. The resurrection would be their proof.
In all their fears, doubts, and anxieties the steadfast love of God remained. God's love came to be with us in the flesh, to strengthen our hope and faith us no matter where we are in our journey.
Read Romans 4:23-5:2
has been blogging under the name: Jesus not Jesús: Looking for Christ in the face of strangers. You can read his posts and browse his archives by clicking here.
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