As we look around us in the world today, we see catastrophes happening on every hand: violence, bloodshed, natural disasters, and unprecedented wickedness. All these things remind us that the second coming of our Lord Jesus must be soon. In order to meet these challenges, in order to be prepared to meet our Lord in the clouds of heaven, we must have a strong faith, the faith of Abraham.
“Those who profess to be looking for the soon coming of our Saviour should have Abrahamic faith, a faith that is valued because it has cost them something, a faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The example of Abraham is left on record for us upon whom the ends of the world have come. We must believe that God is in earnest with us, and that He is not to be trifled with. He means what He says, and He requires of us implicit faith and willing obedience. Then will He let His light shine around about us, and we shall be all light in the Lord.”—The Signs of the Times, April 1, 1875.
This quarter we will be studying about the life of Abraham. This man of God passed through many tests of faith. At each one, Abraham was given opportunity to demonstrate his trust in God and in the promise that God had given to him—that he would be a “father of many nations.” At times his faith wavered as he tried to fulfill God’s plan in his own time and way. Nevertheless, God proved his faithfulness, and at the time appointed, the first son of the promise was born to Abraham. Yet God reserved His greatest test for Abraham, not when he was young and strong, but when he was an old man.
“Abraham was sorely tested in his old age. The words of the Lord seemed terrible and uncalled-for to the stricken old man, yet he never questioned their justice or hesitated in his obedience. He might have pleaded that he was old and feeble, and could not sacrifice the son who was the joy of his life. He might have reminded the Lord that this command conflicted with the promises that had been given in regard to this son. But the obedience of Abraham was without a murmur or a reproach. His trust in God was implicit.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 253.
“God permits trials to assail His people, that by their constancy and obedience they themselves may be spiritually enriched, and that their example may be a source of strength to others. . . . The very trials that task our faith most severely and make it seem that God has forsaken us, are to lead us closer to Christ, that we may lay all our burdens at His feet and experience the peace which He will give us in exchange.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 129.
May God give us the faith of Abraham. May this faith lead us to live our life in such a way that it may be said of us, as of Abraham, that each one of us is “the friend of God.”
The General Conference Sabbath School Department