I started reading through Romans as part of my morning quiet time and I read through chapter 4, which i felt at the time, and still do, is packed with so much wisdom and a lot of what Christianity is all about. It talks about Abraham, who I believe we could count as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, examples of faith, was counted to be righteous because he believed.
Through sufferings, I believe its easy for us to start to question what we may be doing wrong and look for reasons why we may be suffering, but Scripture tells us that God causes all things to work for our good, even the bad things. If we have faith, then this is a verse we can trust in, if we have faith that God is continuously working in our lives.
Our sermon this morning was on Mark 10:35-45 where James and John ask to sit at the right hand of Jesus. the sermon was on greatness and the lessons we can learn from greatness. One of the lessons was that lasting influence often comes through suffering and a point from this is that Jesus took on our sin so we could take on His righteousness. Essentially, He traded His place in the Father’s presence so He could take on our sin, at no cost to us, so we could share in the His glory and one day have a place in God’s presence. Another point to this is that Jesus uses our sufferings for greatness. There are countless stories of people rising from the ashes, so to speak, to have a great testimony for God’s glory.
As we face adversity, these events contribute to and build on our legacy, which can go two ways, hopefully we chose to rejoice in the sufferings for God’s Glory. In the next chapter of Romans, Paul tells us that we should rejoice in these sufferings because it leads to perseverance or patience, which leads to character or experience which leads to hope. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. We don’t always see the workings of God in our lives, but we can take rest and have faith in those workings because if we love God they are for our good.
So through the adversity, we can leave a legacy of faith through our sufferings which truly leads to greatness. I think at times about what kind of legacy I am building. I admit, I can get down and hang my head and get grumpy in my sufferings, as a person its hard not to. But I pray that people would see Jesus in me, that I would be a reflection of Him and His love. I pray that my family and those around me would be drawn nearer to Jesus because of my sufferings.
Romans 4:20-22 says that Abraham was credited righteousness because he did not waver through unbelief, but was strengthened in his faith because he believed God would fulfill His Promise. In our sufferings, if we do not waver and keep our eyes on Him, we too will be strengthened and be made right with Him and leave a legacy which reflects who Jesus is.
Abraham simply believed God. Abraham was obedient and trusted in Him and he was made righteous.