Growing in faith

Dear  Members and friends of IBCZ,

Looking back to Abraham’s life in the sermons of the last months, many points are still relevant today, more than 3000 years ago.

Abraham is known for having faith, but even being one of the great figures in the bible it was quite amazing to see that many times he did not have faith but took matters into his own hands. We really see his human side with shortcomings – like a Christian in today’s world – with many ups and downs in his faith in God. He even uses  the same half truth – that the woman he has with him is not his wife but sister – to get out of a dangerous situation not only once, but a second time. The first time God had to rescue him, but he tried the same method later again and got saved again. But he always finds the way back to God, trusting in God’s power and promises, even in promises that are by human standards not possible.

And he passes the greatest test from God, to sacrifice his only son, with flying colors. He trusted God that there will be a way out from this command, that his son will be somehow saved and alive. How could a God whom he got to know better and better tell him to sacrifice his only son if  He detested this practice himself – child sacrifice to their gods done by the Canaanites? He had faith in God that in his case it will not happen, and he was right.

We can learn a lot from this patriarch. He did not have the whole bible as we do with all the books and reports about Jesus, apostles, prophets etc, as well as historical facts that were to come after him. But what he heard at the beginning when God’s call came he believed and acted. And over the years his relation with God grew stronger and stronger.

As we see in Abraham’s example, growing in faith is not always a straightforward process, it can be interrupted by many setbacks and crisis. But mastering tests help us to grow steadily, like in Abraham’s case.

Fritz Bodmer

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