This is a very challenging time for me. Our youngest has started college and our older children are beginning to step out on their own. I've spent twenty five years raising our family and now I need to find what God is leading me to do with the next twenty five years. I've been anxious and unsettled about the future because I want to see what my life will look like years from now instead of looking for what God is asking me to do today. I'm living by sight, not by faith.
When I think about living by faith, I think of Abraham’s journey with God which was filled with times when he had to walk by faith. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith this way: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (NASB)
Abraham's life reveals the way to follow God a day at a time. Only the eyes of faith could see that seemingly impossible things would come to pass in Abraham and Sarah’s lives. I can’t imagine having to leave my home and family to follow God to an undisclosed land. He must have met tremendous resistance from his family and friends. How many times was he tempted to give up and turn back as the difficulties of the journey overwhelmed him?
Not only did God promise Abraham land, but numerous descendants. Abraham and Sarah were already old. That must have seemed impossible, but Abraham chose to believe God when there was no human way for them to have a child. When they finally had their precious son who restored laughter to their lives, God told Abraham to sacrifice him. The Bible doesn't reveal his internal struggle, but it must have been fierce. Why would God give this child only to take him away? Without Isaac, how would the promise be fulfilled? Abraham trusted God, believing in resurrection long before it had been seen.
Faith wasn’t dependent on anything Abraham had to offer, or on his limited human abilities. Faith depends only on how trustworthy the object of our faith is. God’s promises are always true – He is completely trustworthy and faithful. If we have enough faith, we will trust Him for everything. Because we have a God who is always faithful, we have no need to fear. This requires keeping our eyes on God and not our circumstances. My anxiety can be a thing of the past if I learn to walk by faith.
God had a plan. He knew what was on the horizon even though Abraham couldn’t see what was to come. God revealed His plan to Abraham a little at a time, when the time was right. Abraham trusted and took one step at a time.
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose trust is the Lord.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NASB)
He has a plan for my life too. And He will reveal His plan as I need to know the details. I can choose to trust and follow Him in faith and help bring His plan to pass, or I can walk by sight and fumble around in anxiety and insecurity hindering God’s plan. It is up to me.
Keith and Kristyn Getty's song By Faith shares how the theme of faith is woven through God's word. The chorus says:
We will stand as children of the Promise.
We will fix our eyes on Him, our soul's reward.
'Til the race is finished and the work is done.
We'll walk by faith and not by sight.
Here is the video of the entire song: