The first verse of our text from this past Sunday should be enough to give us pause. The idea of God testing our faith is terrifying. But it should not be surprising. We know that life is full of places where our faith is tested. Knowing that God is present in these moments empowers the testing.
With God’s presence, another side of the testing is made known. In the test, God is asking us to trust him. When we are tested, we are being invited to test God. We are invited to test whether God is… whether he loves us… whether he will show up when we need him. When we test, we are opening our lives and making space for God to prove his faithfulness.
In the midst of the story of Abraham being tested, Abraham tested God. He held his life open. On the way to the place God asked him to sacrifice Isaac (listen to the sermon for the story here), Abraham continually voices hope. When he is pressed on his plan, he faithfully responds that God would provide. Abraham steps into the testing by giving space for God to rescue.
Up to the very point of no return, God asked him to have faith. Abraham held onto faith and tested God’s faithfulness. God did show up. He paused Abraham’s hand. He affirmed his faith. It was because of his faith that God said, “I will indeed bless you… and by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing, because you have obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:16-18) It was because of this faith that God would bless Abraham, Isaac, and all of us.
In the test of faith, God discovered Abraham’s faith. In the test of faith, Abraham discovered God’s faithfulness.
And so, it is with us. In this life, our faith will be tested. We are not alone in this testing. God is with us. With God’s presence, each test becomes a place where we can discover God’s faithfulness.
Jesus, we pray that in the tests of life we might discover how close you are to us. We pray that, step-by-step, we might discover faith and your faithfulness. Deepen us so that though we might question all else in life, we might rest securely in your love and faithfulness to us. In Jesus name, Amen.