“Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you;
Your reward shall be very great.” (Genesis 15:1)
As God’s story unfolds in the Bible, Abraham is the first person to hear “Do not fear…” from God. Let’s sit at Abraham’s feet and see what we can learn from his life about freedom from fear.
We meet Abraham as Abram in Genesis 12, as God says to Him,
“Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
Abraham’s is a story of faith, and Abraham’s is a story of promise.
God says GO, and Abram goes. Abram goes in God’s promise to make him a nation, to make his name great, and to make him a blessing. Abram becomes the father of Israel, and through his descendant Jesus, all the families of the earth are blessed. Every promise Yahweh made to Abram was kept.
Abraham’s story is a story of faith and promise. But those promises of a nation and a prosperity and a blessing are given when Abram is 75, and childless. Without a child, Abram could not father a nation, or have a great name, or bless all the families of the earth.
At 99, Yahweh repeats His promises to Abram, and gives him a new name, one with the breath of God inserted in the middle. Abraham’s story is a story of faith and promise. But Abram waited for 25 years before a son was born to him, before he had even a glimpse of God’s plan, the keeping of his promise. Hebrews 11 calls Abraham a hero of faith, one who believed that God IS and is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11 also reminds us that Abraham, with all the Old Testament saints
… died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13)
Abraham’s is a story of faith and promise, but Abraham waited until the end of his life to see the beginning of promises kept. And he died in faith, welcoming the keeping of God’s promises from afar.
In the middle of his story, in the midst of all those years of waiting, God says to Abram
Do not fear…
From Abraham, I learn:
- Having a story of faith and promise takes endurance.
- Fear is normal in the middle of our stories, but…
- We have a God who keeps His promises and who says to us, “Do not be afraid…”
- Waiting with hope that God IS doing something good, that He keeps His promises is an act of great courage.
Mine is a story of faith and promise. God called and I answered. And I have His promises, that He is with me, that He is for me, that I was made in His image, that He is working in my life and in this world.
Mine is a story of faith and promise. And in the middle of my story, God says, “Do not fear…” Am I willing, like Father Abraham, to wait? To wait to see promises kept, to wait in courage and let the promises of God be louder than my doubts and fear?
In the middle of your story of faith and promise, as God calls you away from fear, are you willing to wait? Can you hear God calling us, Do not fear believing that I will keep my promises?
Is believing God’s promises a scary thing for you? Why or why not?
Does this story of Abraham’s years of waiting encourage or discourage you, in your own faith and fight with fear? Why?
This post is second in my NO FEAR series of devotionals. You can read the first here.