And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith. Genesis 15:6
Abram. Deemed righteous by God because of his faith. What does that even mean? First, to answer that-we must know what we are referring to when we discuss faith. According to Hebrews 11:1 and 3, “faith shows the reality of what we hope for, it is the evidence of things we cannot see (v1).” Or…”by faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command; that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen” (v3).
We didn’t see God form the earth, but we believe. That’s faith. We don’t get our prayers answered right away, but we believe God will answer, even if we don’t actually see it. That’s faith.
As far as the Christmas season? Well, what does faith have to do with it?
Let’s get back to Abraham. He is not only known as one of the “Faith Hall of Famers” (Hebrews 11), but he is also known as the “father of many nations.” A title given to him by God after he had left his homeland, moved wherever God said to move, obeyed His commands, and didn’t hesitate.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.” At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. Genesis 17:1-5, NLT
And God did what He promised, providing a descendant that would provide rescue.
Jesus. Yes, Jesus is one of these many descendants. It’s why the family tree we may skip in the first part of Matthew is so important.
God keeps His promises, and we must believe this even if we cannot see it. That’s faith.
Faith and righteousness is how a young virgin was chosen to give birth to a Messiah on that long ago night. Her trust in God is how Mary dealt with the rejection, and the realization of what was to come. Was she scared? She had to be. Did she reject God’s plan due to fear? Doubt His promise because it seemed ridiculous? No. Her response to Him was simply this: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38
As it was, that word. Fulfilled through the birth of a Messiah that was sent to save the world. Save you and me. Through the simple faith of his ancestor Abraham, and a young virgin Mary.
So the question to be asked is this: If that kind of faith can birth a nation, and a Messiah, then can’t it birth God’s purpose in us? What doubts do we need to leave at His feet so we can place our trust in His plan and promises, even if we can’t see the end goal? So we can be like Abraham and Mary-counted as righteous because of our faith?