13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” o He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” t 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. 
What is striking to me in this passage is Paul’s characterization of Abraham’s faith, that he did not waver, that his faith did not weaken. On the one hand, Abraham is being held up as the model faithful follower. Not only is he the father of those who are saved by faith, but also an example of unwavering faith in the face on a seemingly impossible situation.
But this example can also be convicting. Is my faith so unwavering? Does my faith ever weaken regarding God’s promises?
But what does Paul mean by unwavering and never weakening? Take a closer look at Abraham. In Genesis 16, Abraham and Sarah take matters into their own hands by bringing Hagar into their marriage, and Abraham has a son by her. In Genesis 17, 13 years later, Abraham states that he wishes this son could be his heir and laughs at the prospect of having another son. Paul certainly knew about these incidents and yet he characterizes Abraham’s faith with the words unwavering and non-weakening.
I can only conclude that Paul is looking at Abraham through the lens of grace. We’re not talking about perfectionism. And Abraham was far from perfect. Though he never stopped trusting in God’s promise that He would provide a son, he did take some wrong turns in how he lived that trust. And yet God was faithful to His promises, and in the end they were all shown to be trustworthy.
So this passage is both convicting and encouraging. Convicting in the sense that it calls me to an unwavering trust in God’s promises. But also encouraging because I know Abraham’s story and the grace that God showed him in the face of Abraham’s faults and failures. I cannot characterize my faith as perfect, unwavering and never weakening. But I trust in a God of grace, who continually calls me back, and whose promises will never fail.
My prayer today is one of thankfulness for God’s grace, that He has shown me grace as He showed Abraham grace. And yes, I pray that He may work in me an unwavering faith that never weakens.
What is the Word leading you to pray about today?
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 The New International Version. (2011). (Ro 4:13–25). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.