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Jan 27, 2019

Exercising Your Faith Muscle: God’s Promise to a Panting Abraham

Thomas Smith

Faith Requires ExerciseOver 4,000 years ago, God called a man named Abram (later, changing his name to Abraham) out of the Ur of the Chaldees, promising him a new land and a new life. Abraham demonstrated his faith by walking in that call/promise made to him in his seventy-fifth year. Each step of his nine hundred mile journey to the Promised Land was his faith in action.

Abraham was anything but perfect. His faith was sometimes faltering, and other times failed all together (remember his “Plan B” with Hagar?). Ultimately, he persevered in faith and was able to see the seed of the full promise God gave him (Genesis 21:1-2).

Rather than being scandalized by his imperfect faith, I am encouraged to keep pressing on in my own, knowing that faith grows only when it is exercised.

Your Faith Has a Destination

Perhaps the most poetic tribute to Abraham is found in Hebrews 11. This chapter is Israel’s Hall of Faith. Here, Abraham and his wife Sarah are recognized as people who “considered him [God] faithful who had made the promise” (Hebrews 11:11). In this same passage, Abraham is also commended for his faith in following the Lord to a strange country because, “…he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10).

In a mysterious way, Abraham realized that it was not merely a physical tract of land that God was seeking to give him, but it was the City of God to which Abraham was journeying.

This is an important principle for us to keep in mind as we continue our journey with God in 2014. We are not aimlessly wandering through this world. Faith has a destination.

Each time we trust in God, we are a step closer to the promises he has made to the followers of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:9). As children of the ancient patriarch through faith (Galatians 3:7), we too are seeking the city “whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

Prayer: God our Father, thank you for giving us examples of faith like Abraham. As we walk with reverence and joy through 2019, renew our faith, and direct our hearts to our true home—you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

This article was first published on The Great Adventure Blog on January 28, 2014.

Featured photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

You May Also Like:

Why Did God Ask Abraham to Sacrifice Isaac?

Abraham: Model of Faithfulness

Looking at Your Life Geographically (The Jeff Cavins Show podcast)

About Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is the co-author of Wisdom: God’s Vision for Life,  Revelation: The Kingdom Yet to Come and The Prophets: Messengers of God’s Mercy. He is an international presenter for The Great Adventure Bible Timeline. Bringing a wealth of experience and insight on the Word of God to audiences across the U.S., Thomas is a repeat guest on EWTN and Catholic radio as well as a sought after parish mission and conference speaker. Thomas Smith has taught as an adjunct professor at the St. Francis School of Theology in Denver, and is the former Director of the Denver Catholic Biblical School and the Denver Catechetical School. He lives on his family ranch in southeastern Idaho and writes for his website

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  • “Each step of his 900 mile journey to the Promised Land was his faith in

    I love this quote and it is worth keeping it to heart, for indeed, to
    journey in faith requires a lot of courage, determination, and sincerity of
    purpose especially when it is moving toward the “land of milk and honey.” How
    often in our journey do we stop when we come across events that horrify us, that
    discourage and paralyze us, that fell us to the ground, and we at times, don’t
    want to get up anymore and move on? Or the times when we are surrounded by all
    the beautiful things that the world can offer: riches, fame, power, and so we
    stop and believe that we have found the “land of milk and honey?” Both are
    illusions for there is a greater Truth that await us, yet, even walk with us
    every step of the way.

    I am no different from Abraham in my weaknesses and in my desire to take
    control of my life by believing that a plan B that I create will guarantee me of
    success. But like Abraham, I will still endeavor to take that one step at a
    time, despite and inspite of my weaknesses, discouragement or lure of worldly
    goods in exchange for my rightful place in my Father’s house. I know that every
    step I take will take me closer to professing what is hidden deep in my heart:
    “Lord, all that I am, and all that have belong to you. I offer everything that I
    am to you. Do with me as you will.”
    And only with his grace that I will succeed.

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