Have you ever felt like God has forgotten you? Well, he has…just not in the way you fear.
Imagine standing before the omniscient, holy God of the universe to have your life and faith examined to the core, every possible inch of it explored. Does this picture fill you with fear or give your soul a breath of fresh air? There was a time when that picture filled me with terror. I am a doubter, a woman of wavering faith. What am I to do before an all-knowing God?
We doubters are not alone. The Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith” is filled with a bunch of men and women of wavering faith-and yet, they are lauded for their great faith in the promises of God. How can this be?
“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. “
Isaiah 43: 25
In his mercy, God forgets the moments in which our faith wavers.
In Romans 4, Paul hold up Abraham as the example of unceasing faith.
“In hope he believed against hope…he did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body ...or when he considered the bareness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God.”
Romans 4: 18-20
Um, what Paul? Don’t you remember that whole debacle with Hagar? Abraham and Sarah became weary of waiting for God’s promised descendant, so they decide to take it into their own hands. Sarah encouraged Abraham to sleep with her servant Hagar to produce an heir to MAKE God’s promise come true. They were afraid God forgot them. Abraham obliges and Hagar becomes pregnant.This action sparked a line of consequences we are still facing today with the clashes of religious groups in the Middle East. It’s kind of a hard thing to forget. So, why did Paul completely leave it out?
In context of the whole book of Romans, it makes complete sense why Paul left it out. He spent the first three chapters nailing in the truth that we are hopeless in salvation without Jesus. Many of the believers in Rome were Jewish and were familiar with Abraham’s story. They knew his faith waivered, but Paul made it clear that God did not define Abraham by the times he lacked faith-God only remembered that Abraham trusted his promise which would lead to the Messiah.
Tim Keller said, “It is not the strength of your faith that matters, but the object of your faith that saves you.” When the object of your faith is ultimately Jesus, we have no need to fear. As he views us through the lens of Jesus, the omniscient God of the universe chooses to forget our times of faithlessness. He only remembers that we trust in Jesus and that is enough.
I believe that even our faith in Jesus is not something we ourselves conjure up. I am continuously drawn to Jesus, in spite of my doubt, because his love is indescribably great. The fact that I am still walking with Jesus is evidence to me that he is real. Left to my own devices, I would have walked away a long time ago.
At the end of your life, when you stand before the all-knowing God, you need not fear. He knows every inch of your faith and doubt, but he chooses to only remember your faith. To be fully known like that and yet fully loved is the ultimate beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
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