Times of adversity can be times of uncertainty. We do not know what the future is going to look like or how things are going to turn out. Yet, our faith enables us to live with confidence because faith does not need to see what lies ahead. Faith simply must see God. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he would later receive as an inheritance, and he went out without understanding where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).
Let’s not miss what our author just revealed to us. Abraham was going without knowing. So often and especially during severe trials the lack of knowing paralyzes our lives and we end up spinning rather than moving. Times of adversity do not have to stymie our growth and progress as a Christian. In fact, our faith in action can be energized and enhanced because all faith needs to see to operate is God, not the future. This aspect of faith is clearly illustrated by the example of Abraham.
God often calls us out with Him on a great adventure of faith. We may not be able to see beyond the present at all, but God wants us to rely and trust in Him for each step that we take. If we demand to know before we go, we will severely limit our experience with God in this life. Abraham is an inspiring portrait of faith that follows God and is not dependent on sight for follow through! (2 Corinthians 5:7)
The reason anyone of us could follow in the footsteps of Abraham is because the faith he possessed we possess too. It is a faith that rests on the reality that we do not know what the future holds but our God does. And God not only knows the future, He has stepped into the future ahead of us to prepare our way as we follow Him. God is already there ahead of us as we travel through life with Him. He is not just one step ahead, but many steps ahead. Being able to move ahead in uncertain times has very little to do with seeing even an hour ahead in time. It is all about seeing God and knowing that when we’ve moved into our future no matter how unclear to us, God is already there.
Moses said these words of encouragement when the people of God were hesitant to go in and possess the land because of all the “what ifs” they had come up with in their minds. “Do not be terrified or afraid, the Lord you God is about to go ahead of you (Deuteronomy 1:30). They did not need to be paralyzed by fear about what the future held – God was going ahead of them. “The Lord is indeed going before you -He will be with you; He will not fail or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged!” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
We may not know the future, but we know the God who holds the future in His very capable and loving hands. He is just ahead preparing our way into the unknow and encouraging us to simply follow Him. Can we go without knowing? Yes, we can! If Abraham could do it so can we! Let’s courageously and confidently walk into our future – God is already there!