Blessed through Faith
：The Lord had said to Abram, ．Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.・" (Genesis 12:1-3)
In those days when God chose Abram and called on him to leave that sinful place, Ur of the Chaldeans, Abram set forth on his journey of faith because he trusted God. Leaving the place where he grew up and the environment he was familiar with, he went off for Canaan under the guidance of the Lord. At the time, he did not know where God was going to lead him. Neither did he know what sort of a place Canaan was, whether the people were friendly, or what differences in living conditions there may be from the place where he grew up. He left only because of God・s command. He submitted because he believed in the Lord・s promise. The word ：bless； was used five times in the foregoing brief declaration from God. God promised that Abram would become a great nation; his name would become great; he would be blessed; and he would become a blessing to others. Whoever blessed him would be blessed by God, and whoever became his enemy and cursed him would be cursed by God. As well, all peoples on earth would be blessed through him. This is indeed a blessing of a grand promise. We can see from this: 1) God chooses and calls people to receive grace by His own initiative. 2) The grace bestowed to man by God is His vast, numerous, deep and lasting blessings. 3) All these blessings are based upon the faithful promises of God. 4) Man must receive these blessings granted by God through faithful acts. 5) The work and will of God are accomplished through the faith of man. By faith, Abraham left his place of extended domicile upon the word of God. By faith he sojourned in a foreign land. By faith he defeated the four kings to save his nephew Lot. By faith he received a son even at an infertile age. And by faith, he offered his only son Isaac, so that in the test given by God he was able to express his singular love for and pure belief in the Lord. Abraham was a man of faith, so God bestowed on him prolonged grace. He became a precious example for those who followed in his footsteps of faith. Therefore, Paul said in Galatians, ：Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.； (Galatians 3:7) Also, ：So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.； (Galatians 3:9)
Dear brothers and sisters, we are all chosen by God and called into His glorious Kingdom through grace. Since we are Abraham・s children through faith in the beginning, and received blessings along with Abraham also by faith from the first, we then are the people who have been granted grace through faith. Therefore, if we face difficult circumstances, it may be a trial of our faith from the Lord. Just like the financial shortfall we experience this time in our church building - a hardship that is a grave, difficult and urgent lesson. Yet the fact that Abraham was blessed through his faith gives us a strong testimonial. Paul also provides us with this encouragement - ：It is by faith you stand firm.； (2 Corinthians 1:24) Although our financial means are meager, we serve the one God who created the heaven and the earth, is faithful, keeps His promises, and bestows His grace. He is pleased that by our faith His more delightful work has been brought about. Dear brothers and sisters, we are the people who receive grace through faith. May we all continue to depend on God together!
：And without faith it is impossible to please God.； (Hebrews 11:6)
By: Daniel To