We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Bruce Sampson.
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.
As a CrossFitter, I understand that every day I go to the gym I’m ultimately making the decision to put myself to the test. The test can express itself in many ways whether that be physically, knowing that there’s a difficult workout ahead of me, or mentally, not knowing the certainty if I can get through it. There’s also the test of whether I’m going to smash the snooze button for the 9th time before getting out of bed in which I often fail. Shoutout to my 5 A.M. crew.
We know that we can’t avoid being tested. Eventually the test will end up finding us. But what if we embraced the test? If we think about it, without a test there would be no need for faith. I believe that it’s necessary for our faith to be put to the test. In the book of James it says that when our faith is put to the test it produces perseverance. It says that we should continue to have perseverance so that our joy may be complete (James 1:2-4). The Bible gives us examples of faith in Hebrews 11 for us to learn to take hold of perseverance in our own lives.
In Hebrews, we see that Abel is the first one on the list to be said to have great faith. However, his faith wasn’t recognized here without notice of the perseverance it took to pass the test he went through. It was a test that humanity has struggled with since the very beginning of creation. The test of whether we will have the perseverance to continually trust in God’s ways or follow down the path of our own decisions.
As the story goes, Abel and his brother Cain wanted to honor God with an offering to him, but God favored the offering of Abel over Cain. While we aren’t clear why God favored Abel’s offering more, we are told of the response that Cain makes as he gives in to sin and kills his brother out of anger for it. This happened after God warned him that sin is crouching at the door, like an animal stalking its prey ready to attack. We must rule over it or else it will rule over us.
Embracing the test can be easier said than done. We have to go into it knowing that sin is there to oppose us but God hasn’t left us without a promise in Jesus that even sin and death could not prevail over him. It’s the way that we going through our test today as Abel did trusting in God to see our perseverance grow for the tests in the days to come. Let’s make our joy complete in trusting in God to give us the perseverance we need.
Take some time to journal the answer to these questions:
- What is serving you positively that is requiring perseverance to continue?
- What is negatively impacting you that requires perseverance to resist?
Take some time to pray when you’re done. Consider taking the answers to both questions to God, and in honesty, ask him to give you the perseverance you need.
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