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God is by your side

Something to read

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

- Hebrews 11: 8-10.

Something to think about

On the face of it, Abraham sounds completely irresponsible. He heads out from the wealth and security of his home in Ur of the Chaldees (that’s in modern Iraq) without having a clue where he is going. This is not a normal thing to do!

If somebody went out on such a mystery tour these days, they would at least have the advantages of their mobile phone and credit cards. But not so for Abraham, for whom this was a complete journey into the unknown.

The writer to the Hebrews sees this daring journey as clear evidence of Abraham’s faith. The only possible explanation for this uncertain journey was his absolute certainty in God.

He knew that God would not let him down and so he was content not only to head off into the unknown but to live in a state of complete vulnerability, in tents, in a foreign country.

His faith was not a whim or a passing emotional experience but a way of life, which he gladly embraced because he knew that God had something much better in store for him.

There is something in all of us that causes us to shrink back from stepping out in faith. We love the security of the familiar, and are often nervous about embarking on something that is new and that might go wrong.

Abraham reminds us that God is so faithful we can confidently step into the unknown.

Something to do

Reflect on one way in which you can step out in faith today. Perhaps you need to speak to a homeless person, or call on an elderly next-door neighbour, or write to your MP commending one of Christian Aid’s campaigns. Take a step and take it with God, knowing that he will be with you as you take it.

Something to pray

Loving Father, we thank you for the amazing story of Abraham. Help us to be willing to step out in faith today. We confess that we have often played it safe, and have avoided doing things that might make us feel insecure and uncertain. Increase our faith in you so that we will be willing to live boldly for you this day.

We worship your holy name, and pray that you will empower us by your Holy Spirit so that we will live in a way that brings honour to the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Today's contributor is the Rev Jonathan Edwards, former General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.