“After these things the Word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘FEAR NOT, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’” (Genesis 15:1).
What are you afraid of? What is it that frustrates you? Do your fears come from the “what ifs” in life, ‘what if’ this happens or ‘what if’ that happens? Is it the fear of what other people think of you, or the fear of failure? What is the solution to those fears and frustrations? The Lord reminded Abram, and He reminds us, that the solution is faith.
This account takes place just after Abram returned from the battle in which he rescued his nephew, Lot. Lot and his family were living in Sodom when an alliance of kings attacked Sodom and took all its citizens captive. Abram heard what had happened, so he formed his own alliance and attacked the armies of the kings that had taken the city. He was victorious and freed Lot and the other citizens of Sodom, letting them return home in safety. The battle however was a reminder of the constant danger in which he was living. Abram was a foreigner in the land of Canaan. He did not yet own an acre of the land that God had promised to give to him and his descendants. To top it all off, Abram did not accept the religions of his neighbors, but instead worshiped the one and only true God. It all reminded him of the constant danger in which he lived as a wealthy foreigner in the land of Canaan.
“FEAR NOT, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” (Genesis 15:1b). The Lord reassured Abram. Abram had nothing to fear with the Lord by his side. Yet, he still seemed to be quite frustrated. Listen to what Abram said to the Lord: “Sovereign Lord, what can You give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus? You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” (Genesis 15:2–3). The Lord had promised Abram, “I will make you into a great nation.” (Genesis 12:2), but Abram and his wife Sarai still did not have any children. How was this “nation” ever going to come about if he didn’t have any children?
It had been years since God had made that promise and still Abram and Sarai had no children. When was the Lord going to deliver on His promise? The Lord reassured Abram again saying, “A son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” (Genesis 15:4). To reinforce His promise, the Lord gave Abram a visual aid. “He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the sky and count the stars – if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be.’” (Genesis 15:5). Whenever Abram got frustrated or began to doubt the Lord’s promise, Abram could simply go outside, look up at the night sky, and be reminded of what the Lord had promised him.
How did Abram respond? We’re told, “Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6). The solution to fear and frustration is FAITH; trusting that the Lord will do what He has promised. Abram trusted the Lord, and through that faith, he would receive what God had promised. That is the faith that combats fear and frustration. Trust in the Lord to provide all He has promised you. Believe that Jesus has taken away your sins and you will go to Heaven. In the meantime, we still live in a dangerous world, and we may even feel that we are being targeted because of our Christian faith. However, faith points us away from the world and toward the One that saved us.
That might seem simple, but it is so often missed by people today. You hear people talk about faith or encourage others to have faith, but it is often faith without a foundation in the Lord. It’s like a beautiful building built on a swamp. It might look pretty, but it’s going to sink and eventually collapse because it has no foundation. In whom do you place your faith? That is the most important question when it comes to faith. Who was the object of Abram’s faith? “Abram believed the Lord.” (Genesis 15:6). The foundation of Abram’s faith is the same as ours; we believe in the Lord. We are truly in good hands and those are hands to rely on and have faith in: the hands of God. Our God formed the world and set the stars in the sky. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to bring righteousness to the world and redeem it. Through our faith and belief in Jesus Christ, God will one day welcome you home, along with all the other “stars” of Abram’s family who have believed in the Lord. This is the faith that fights our fears and frustrations. This is the faith that God has given to you, freely.