Romans 4

by Sherrill Auker

My quarantine view is dramatic. The sound of the Zambezi River echoes through the gorge. The sun sets just over the opposing side. A few weeks ago, I couldn’t have predicted myself sitting here, back in the place I called home for eight years.

We left Congo a few days ago, due to sudden announcements by our president of grocery store closures, border restrictions, meeting limitations, and more. Though the virus itself was said to be limited to the region surrounding our capital city, unreachable but by plane, the lockdown would influence the nation. Declaring such interventions in a developing country translates into limited food supply, water supply issues, empty ATMs, and potential conflict resulting in military presence. Following the advice of leadership, we left the following day, leaving behind our Congolese team members.

Some decisions, though necessary, feel worse after you make them. Peace doesn’t automatically settle in right away, leaving you feeling torn and wondering. But the peace of God is always available to us. Our decision must only be to enter in. We choose, by faith, to stand on these promises, and to allow His peace to flood us.

During these weird days, there’s much we’re grasping to maintain faith for. Good health, a functioning economy, a nation’s stability…

Abraham was said to be justified by his faith, that “in hope he believed against hope.” He believed God, who “gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.” Yet, at one point, Abraham’s response to the promise of God was peppered with unbelief. Genesis 17 records, “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’”

Romans 4 continues, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”

“He grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God…” How did Abraham increase his faith? How did he move from laughter to unwavering rootedness? By giving glory to God.

His faith was strengthened with praise, with recognizing the uniqueness, the otherness of God. How could it not be? When we reflect on His character, His works, what other result could there be?

His faith wasn’t built by concentrating on the circumstances, the setting, or even the promise itself. His faith was built by concentrating on the One who made it. We can leave the whole situation behind, remove it from its secure position in the forefront of our minds, and replace it with meditating on the uniqueness of God. Lay even the promise itself to the side and focus on His greatness, the characteristics that make God who He is.

In the midst of this, overflows praise; in this state, faith is strengthened. We will find that we can pick up the promise again with even more fervor and belief because in this practice, we’ve rooted ourselves in the One who creates beauty from nothingness with His very words. He already does the impossible every single day. And so, we can ask ourselves: How can I intentionally dwell on His character and uniqueness and get outside or above my situation? How can I focus myself on His past works, giving Him glory for all He’s accomplished? Our faith will grow as our minds meditate on His nature.

By,

Sherrill Auker

Missionary

Watsontown Alliance Church

watsontowncmachurch.org/