There is a fascinating story found in Genesis chapter 22 about a man named Abraham and his wife Sarah. They were not able to have children and were now in their nineties but one day an angel came to them and relayed a message from God that they would give birth to a son. Miraculously, they did have a child just like the Lord promised, but when Isaac became a teenager, the Almighty asked Abraham to do something very confusing and heart-breaking.
God told him to take the boy and a bundle of wood to a certain place and build an altar. He was to bind his son with ropes and lay him on top of the wood. This promised child that had been given as the most joyful gift in their life was now to become the most devastating sacrifice they could imagine. Even though Abraham did not understand, he trusted God and raised the knife in obedience to God’s request.
At the last second, a voice called out to stop him and said that Abraham had proved that he loved God above everything in the world. Amazing to say the least. We do not always understand what God is doing and this is exactly why the Christian life is based on faith and trust. I know it sounds easy to tell someone to “have faith” or “just believe” when their world is falling apart but this is the message from heaven. Jesus wants us to know that He is aware of what we are going through and to sincerely release our fears over to Him. He is God and He can handle it! Never lose hope no matter how impossible it may seem. “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me, and heard my cry” Psalm 40:1.
No matter what predicament, problem or difficulty and there seems to be absolutely no relief in sight, the Lord has a perfect solution. God always provides an answer to every problem, it just might not be the one we are looking for. Let us focus on His Word and learn about His will so that we can experience His grace, power and sovereignty in our life. In the New Testament, Paul understood how God makes a way when there seems to be no way when he wrote, “It is God who is at work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” Philippians 2:13,14. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus it’s comforting to realize we are limited in our own strength but there is nothing that He cannot do. Faith is willing to hold God’s hand when we cannot see where He is leading us and His promises become our solid rock of hope when life does not make sense. When we find ourselves in these seasons of discouragement, let us simply ask the Lord to help us understand what it means to declare as Christ did before He was crucified, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.”
In 1887, John Sammis, a Presbyterian minister, knew that in times of crisis we can turn to the one who loves us and wants to rescue us as he wrote this popular hymn that has inspired and encouraged so many throughout the years. “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” It seems many times that our emotions make the Christian life more complicated than it needs to be as this little chorus simply relays how we are to live. As God’s truth brings peace, security, freedom and victory, may we refuse to be driven and defeated by the adverse circumstances of this life.
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author, outreach minister and community chaplain. To learn more visit: billyhollandministries.com