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)
The certainty of life is the reality of the uncertainty of life. There are changes that come in life that are planned and unplanned. Those we plan for are viewed as necessary directions we want to go in order to accomplish some task or dream. What is hard is when the unplanned changes come in life throwing all of the planned ideals in disarray. The true measure of the character of a man is how he handles the unplanned changes in life to make himself a better person. Abram grew up in the Ur of the Chaldeans before moving with his father to Haran. For seventy-five years he served his God with faithfulness and was just a common man among common people. The day came when the Lord spoke to Abram and told him to leave his home for a land that would be shown to him with promises that would partially be fulfilled in his life. He did not hesitate. Abram and Sarai left their home and followed the instructions of the Lord not knowing where they were going or how the promises of God would work out. He was told that he would have a heritage which must have seemed unlikely considering his age and the age of Sarai. He did not hesitate. Leaving what he had known for seventy-five years, Abram embarked on a journey of faith. His life had changed in ways he could never have foreseen. He would wander for the rest of his life through the land of Canaan and Egypt, bear a son by Sarai’s handmaiden and then miraculously give birth to another son through Sarai who was ninety years of age; himself one hundred. There would be the time God requires Abram to offer his son as a burnt offering. He did not hesitate. Abram lived to the age of one hundred seventy five and the last one hundred years of his life was change after change after change. What never changed was his faith in God.
There are many stories in the Bible of lives that were changed in dramatic fashion. Joseph was sold as a slave at the age of seventeen and his life was never the same. Moses was the prized son of the Pharaoh for forty years until he killed a man and became a fugitive and vagabond in a foreign land. At the age of eighty while tending his herd the Lord appeared and changed his life once again. He would spend the final forty years of his life leading a rebellious and stubborn nation of Israel to a land he would never set foot on. David was a shepherd boy who would be thrust into the national limelight after killing an enemy giant and become the hated enemy of the king he loved. Later in life a moment’s reckless folly with the wife of one of his mighty men would fell the great kingdom of David into chaos. Amos was a herdsman and dresser of sycamore trees in the village of Tekoa not far from Jerusalem. From obscurity as a shepherd he became one of the great reformers of his day trying to bring God’s people to repentance. Daniel and his three friends lived with all the high hopes of young Jewish men of his day until they were carried away into Babylonian captivity.
Four fishermen in the time of Jesus left the only life they knew to follow an itinerant preacher who was the greatest miracle worker men had ever seen. He told them they would become fishers of men and along with a handful of others turned the world upside down. Matthew left his secure job of collecting taxes to follow Jesus. Saul of Tarsus was a powerful force in the Jewish world enjoying fame, fortune and inexhaustible authority until he met the Lord Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. His life would never be the same. Timothy and Luke became constant travelling companions of the apostle Paul going places they would never have dreamed their lives would take them. Thousands of people left homes to preach the gospel of Christ and many more died because they believed with all their hearts a man from Nazareth was the Son of God. Changes. Life changes. They all experienced changes in life that were unforeseen. They did not hesitate and they did not falter. God called and they answered.
Abram obeyed because he had faith in the changes in his life were for the glory of God. He looked upon those challenges as tools to increase his trust in the Lord he served faithfully when there were few changes. He did not know where he was going but he knew he was going with the Lord. His faith took him to dwell in tents and move from place to place because his life was rooted in the firm conviction that God would take care of him. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the reality of what cannot be seen because God has made the promises and God has seen what needs to be done. There are many changes we experience in life. No matter the change or challenge we must resolve to face those vicissitudes with the strong faith of Abram and all those who faced change but never changed their faith in God. Be assured life will be filled with paths never dreamed before or planned by always remembering the sunlight that shines upon each path comes from the grace and love of God. Trust in Him for direction and hope. He will never leave those who follow His will.