Romans 4:20-21, No unbelief made [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but heh grew strong in faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.
One may say, “But Abraham doubted when he went into his servant Hagar.” Did he though? It was Sarai who doubted, who suggested Abram lie with Hagar (Genesis 16:2). It was Sarai who acted in unbelief. Abram took Hagar as his wife and she conceived Ishmael. As far as we know, Abram believed this was how he would have a son as God promised.
Even though he committed the sin of polygamy and adhered to his wife’s unbelief (like Adam in the garden), he still believed God. Yet Ishmael was not the son whom God chose to bless the nations through Abraham. Abraham believed God; he simply acted foolishly. Even in Sarah’s unbelief, Abraham’s faith did not waver.
What does this have to do with us? Everything. Unbelief surrounds us. The unbelief of others’ seeks to devour our faith. They want us to be like them—hopeless and lawless (cf. John 15:18-19; 1 Peter 4:3-4). Instead of wavering in faith in the midst of unbelief, Abraham strengthened in faith, and this was not his own doing. God is the one who causes faith and its strengthening.
Let us pray to have such faith, knowing God is fully capable of doing what He said He’d do: raising us from the dead (Romans 4:24-25). Abraham believed in God’s power, and he had a son with his barren wife, Sarah, whom she named Isaac. God fulfilled His promise, as He always does. Therefore, we can believe God will raise us from the dead even though the unbelief that surrounds us says it is nonsense; for if you believe God just as Abraham did, He will consider you righteous like Abraham (vv. 22-24), and shall raise you from the dead just as He raised Christ from the dead (6:3-5).
©Featured image from Sara presentando a la sierva egipciia Agar a su marido Abraham, by Vicenç Rodés Aries (1783-1858).