What would happen if we did not doubt God’s promises and provision? How would we live our lives differently if this doubt did not exist? What boldness would we have in carrying out our actions? I struggle with this. Sometimes things seem too overwhelming. Sometimes the storms in life seem too intense for me to find a safe passage before I drown.
People have reasons to doubt every day. We are faced with situations that make us doubt God’s promises. Sometimes these are doubts of simple physical needs being provided for. Sometimes it is on a deep spiritual level. Is God really protecting me? Does God really know what is best for me? Does God really know what He is doing? Is He really in control? How can He be in control when everything seems so wrong right now?
Most of us remember Abraham. He was promised by God that he would have a child and that through that child there would be a huge nation. Abraham would have too many descendants to even count. We always hear about the faith of Abraham. We hear about how he left his land because God simply told him to. We hear about his love and obedience to God, but did you also know that there was doubt?
Abraham wanted to help God keep his promise. It started with Abraham telling God he was too old to have a child and would need to resort to adopting one of his servants. Abraham was prepared to let his doubt overshadow God’s promise, but God told him to hold off. After that Abraham and his wife have some more doubt. They decide that Abraham should have a child with one of his wife’s servants. This child would then be the one that would make a great nation out of Abraham. Thirteen years pass after the birth of Ishmael. God tells Abraham to get ready because the promise is still happening. Abraham tells God he has it covered, but God reminds him this was not the promise he made to Abraham.
Abraham had some doubts. God still came through though. Despite Abrahams attempts to help, despite Sarah’s laughter at the ludicrous nature of the promise, despite all odds God came through and gave this couple a son. God was not done yet though. Abraham was going to be truly tested on his faith and doubt. God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son.
We could talk forever about this aspect of the story, but that is another conversation for another day. What you should take away from this story today is that Abraham does not even attempts to give a response. Abraham goes along with it. Abraham and his son go up a mountain. There was something else going up that mountain though. Abraham reaches the top of this mountain and is in the last moments of killing his son when he is told to stop. Abraham has proven his faith. The doubt is gone. No longer does Abraham doubt God’s promise.
Why does Abraham not doubt or have fear when going up that mountain? Abraham has done away with doubting. Doubting got him nowhere in the past. Doubting lead him to taking matters into his own hands, but it never worked toward an end that God kept promising him. Abraham was incapable of bringing the type of future for himself that God can bring to him. The only thing doubt ever did was prolong the results. Abraham is done doubting. Abraham has gone all in. The man of doubt is in the past. The man of faith is now walking up the mountain.
Then Abraham finds a ram. It is a ram that God had prepared for him. It is a ram that had been going up that mountain while Abraham was preparing to kill Isaac. Abraham never knew that ram was on its way, but he knew that God would not abandon His promise. God had provided the perfect sacrifice in that moment to take the place of Isaac. They did not know what God was up to, but they knew He was up to something. They knew God would not go back on His promise.
This is an image of Christ. God provided the perfect sacrifice in Christ just as He provided the perfect sacrifice in that moment with the ram. God had a plan that went all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Humanity may not have seen all of its intricacies. It may not have seen the perfect sacrifice coming up the other side of the mountain, but the sacrifice still came.
Are you doubting God’s power today? Are you doubting His promises? I struggle with doubt. Sometimes I struggle with remembering that God cares for me. I forget that He honors me when I am faithful to Him. I forget that He does not have obedience go unnoticed. I can forget this because I often do not get to see the ram coming up the other side of the mountain. I do not always get to see God’s plan unfold.
Oh how we wish we could see His plan unfold in every little detail. How we wish we could see the hero make his valiant journey towards us. It doesn’t seem to work that way though. Sometimes we do not see the hero until we look out on the horizon as darkness falls. Sometimes we do not see him until all hope seems lost, but we cling to hope anyway. Sometimes we only get to see the hero when everything else tells us that we should doubt its existence.
Are you in doubt today? Hold tight my friend because the ram is walking up the other side of the mountain to meet the faithful man who dares not to run from doubt.