Abraham—A Man of Faith
Abraham stands outside in the stillness of evening. As he looks up at the bright, starry heavens, he cannot help but think of God’s promise that his offspring will become as numerous as those luminaries. (Genesis 15:5) To Abraham, the stars are a visible reminder of Jehovah’s promise. They are also a guarantee. After all, if Jehovah has the power to create the vast universe and everything in it, can he not also enable Abraham and Sarah to have a child? Such is the nature of Abraham’s faith.
WHAT IS FAITH? As used in the Bible, “faith” refers to firm belief in something unseen. Such belief is based on solid evidence. A person with faith in God focuses on the fulfillment of Jehovah’s promises, confident that they are as good as done.
HOW DID ABRAHAM DISPLAY FAITH? Abraham demonstrated that he believed God’s promises. In faith, Abraham left the country of his birth, confident that Jehovah would keep His promise to show him a different land. In faith, Abraham wandered through Canaan, sure that his offspring would eventually possess that land. And in faith, Abraham obediently attempted to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, confident that, if need be, Jehovah would resurrect Isaac.—Hebrews 11:8, 9, 17-19.
Abraham focused on the future rather than on the past. Although Abraham and Sarah may have enjoyed a more comfortable lifestyle in Ur than they did in Canaan, “they did not keep thinking about the country they had left.” (Hebrews 11:15, Today’s English Version) Rather, they focused on how God would bless them and their descendants in the future.—Hebrews 11:16.
Was Abraham’s faith well-founded? Without question. Jehovah kept every one of his promises. Abraham’s offspring eventually multiplied into the nation known as Israel. In time, the Israelites came to dwell in Canaan, the very land that Jehovah had promised to Abraham.—Joshua 11:23.
WHAT ARE THE LESSONS FOR US? We can be confident that Jehovah will keep his promises. Even if some of them seem impossible from a human standpoint, we trust that “with God all things are possible.”—Matthew 19:26.
Abraham’s example also teaches us to focus, not on how things were in the past, but on what we will enjoy in the future. That is what a man named Jason has learned to do. Jason suffers from a debilitating disease that has left him completely paralyzed. “I must admit that there are times when I find myself thinking about the past,” says Jason. He adds: “It’s the little things that I miss the most, things like hugging my wife, Amanda.”
Nevertheless, Jason has absolute faith that Jehovah will fulfill his promises, including the promise that our earth will soon become a paradise and that faithful humans will be granted everlasting life in perfect health. * (Psalm 37:10, 11, 29; Isaiah 35:5, 6; Revelation 21:3, 4) “I remind myself that the best of times are yet ahead,” says Jason, explaining: “Soon, this will all be over—the stress, the anxiety, the sadness, the guilt—and it will be gone forever.” What an excellent example of faith like that of Abraham!