“Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham” Genesis 22:1
We don’t know how strong our faith really is until it’s tested. You’d think that Abraham’s faith wouldn’t need to be tested after a hundred years. But as we grow older the tests get tougher, the sacrifices are greater, and what’s at stake is bigger. That’s what happened when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:1–2). It was a test of ownership and trust—a test of faith.
Romans 4:20 tells us the result, “Yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God.” Abraham’s faith grew even stronger because of the test! God didn’t write this down just so we could observe Abraham’s faith but so we could apply these principles to our own faith (Romans 4:23–24).
You see, it’s one thing to step out in faith and leave the world behind; to give up sin and all that’s outside God’s will. But it’s another thing to let go of God’s blessings—the very results of His promises. Doing that requires divesting ourselves of all rights and possessions. Sometimes, the greatest test is not what we do with empty pockets but with full ones.
Also notice that God didn’t attach a promise to Abraham’s faithfulness. There was no promise of a greater land or a new heir. He just said, “offer Isaac as a burnt offering.” We all know that Isaac didn’t die, and it was never intended that Isaac should die. But somebody did die on that mountain—Abraham. He died to Isaac, and that’s what we must do. Like Abraham, we must be willing to put God’s blessings on the altar, because a promise is only as good as the Promiser.
Is God presenting you with a test of faith? Remember, it’s not about what you do with empty pockets, but with full ones. How faithful are you when there’s nothing to gain and everything to give? What particular blessing is God asking you to release back to Him? He may or may not actually remove it, but He’s testing your willingness. Your faith grows as you learn to trust in the Giver more than the gift.