Devotions - Perseverance

Holding Tightly to The Promise

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

     WHENEVER TROUBLES COME into our lives, we naturally assume that we are being punished for something we’ve done wrong.  With the help of the devil, our consciences remind us of past sins.  We scrutinize our lives and wonder what offended God.  This can even lead to blaming God for our problems.  Eventually, we can end up hating him. 

     Perhaps Abraham had similar thoughts when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac:  “God kept his promise to me.  He gave me a son, and this made me extremely happy.  Perhaps I’ve become proud because God gave me a son.  Perhaps I wasn’t as thankful as I should have been.  Maybe the Lord regrets making his promise to me.”  It’s difficult to silence anxious thoughts like these when we can’t understand what God is doing.  People can’t comprehend how an unchanging God can change his mind.  Inevitably, we come to one of two conclusions:  either God is a liar, or God has become our enemy.  Thinking of God as a liar is blasphemy.  Thinking of God as our enemy leads to despair.

     Often, serious doubts arise, such as:  “What if God doesn’t want me to be saved?”  But when our consciences are troubled in this way, we have to continue to believe the promise of salvation—a promise we can trust in and depend on. When we doubt God’s promise, we must pray sincerely and persistently.  We must hang on to God’s promise because if Satan can prevent us from believing it, then we have nowhere else to turn.  We must hold tightly to the promise and be ready for the times when God will test us, as he did Abraham.  God doesn’t test us because he enjoys it.  He tests us to find out whether we love him above all things. (Martin Luther, Faith Alone-365 Devotional Readings, February 5th)