As he gave glory to God

Growing up, I was not exposed to the Bible or Jesus Christ. At 17, Jesus spoke to my heart, I accepted his death and resurrection for my salvation, and was forever changed. The germ of faith I was given was enough to keep me tethered to the Lord. Reading chapter 4 of Romans, has caused me to reflect on the growth of my faith over the years.

Romans 4:20-21, referring to Abraham, says

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

He grew strong in faith as he gave glory to God, runs over and over in my mind. I recall Abram’s early experiences following God. He obediently left his hometown, heading to an unknown destination, but I think he made some serious blunders along the way. Didn’t he lie a couple of times about Sarah being his sister rather than his wife? Was he trusting God when he had a baby with Sarah’s maidservant? Nevertheless, in the context of the verses in Romans 4, his faith was credited to him as righteousness. He grew strong in faith as he gave glory to God.

Yesterday, I took a bus to an unfamiliar destination, in a country foreign to me, where I don’t speak the language. I was on my own, with no smart phone to guide me. Although I had a map in hand with a few phrases in the language, I trusted God to get me where I had to go and back again. I know this is a small thing in the big picture of life, but God often uses these experiences to reinforce a lesson he wants me to see.

I missed the first bus and walked along the line to the next stop, where God placed a stranger in my path who showed me where to purchase a ticket for a lower price. I got on the bus, but lost count of the number of stops and got off in the approximate area of my destination. I was relieved when I saw the tower of the building I sought, about a half-mile away. As I walked in that direction, I came to another store, much like a Super-Walmart in the States. Hopeful, I went in. Within minutes I found exactly what I needed and checked out without having to speak a word in the language (apart from a thank you). I went back to the bus stop and the bus came within minutes. Holding out both the first ticket and the fare for my return ride, the bus driver told me my first ticket was good for an hour.

When I got off the bus and walked back to our apartment, I was overwhelmed by the way God providentially guided each step of my journey. I had a plan, but He had a better one. And His plan moved me to glorify Him along the way.

As I look over the thirty-plus years I have been following Jesus, I realize God is working in me as He did in Abraham. He has given me direction and promises. I have not always trusted God and have been led astray by doubts. But my faith has grown. The times I fail to trust God, usually lead me to confession and repentance. The victories, however small or great, I attribute to God, because I see His supernatural hand guiding every detail.

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

Glorify God with me this morning, let us exalt His name together! (Ps. 34:3)

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