“So Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide. And it is said to this day, On the mount of the Lord it will be provided.”
Genesis 22:14 Amplified
Abraham’s journey is one we love to talk about. But we would rather not have to walk a road anything like his. We want the blessings of Abraham without the perseverance of Abraham. Yet, he is the perfect example of gratitude with perseverance. Keep in mind that this is not about his perfection, but about continually moving towards God’s heart. He was a friend of God. Is there any higher privilege?
Abraham waits 25 years to see God fulfill the promise in his life for a son. It wasn’t enough that he only sees this fulfilled at the ripe old age of one hundred. But once receiving it, enjoying it for a few years, God calls Abraham to make a journey of sacrifice with the very thing God promised to give him. To the natural mind it does not make sense, but God was testing Abraham and it was producing some very rich fruit in Abraham’s life.
God tells him to take the son of promise and to take him to Mount Moriah, and there sacrifice him on the altar to God. The more I consider this, I realize only a truly grateful man could do that. He understood that God was good. He was grateful for the promise. He was grateful for the son. He was grateful to a God who had already given him far more than he would have had if God had not come through in his life.
Seeing the goodness of God is so crucial to being grateful. If I am convinced of God’s goodness then I can believe that when He asks something of me, it will produce good fruit. If I believe that good fruit is coming, gratitude will be displayed.
We see this in Abraham’s response. He gathers his son, servants, and all that is necessary to begin a three day journey to make the sacrifice. Every step of the way, even though we can be sure the enemy was screaming in his ears, Abraham persevered. He did not turn back, he did not complain and tell God He was being unfair, unjust, and just plain cruel. He persevered, knowing that God’s promise was God’s. Isaac did not belong to Abraham. He belonged to God. Since God was good, whatever the outcome of this was going to be good. God could do nothing less. So, with his heart set, Abraham journeyed to the place of sacrifice.
It is at the place of complete surrender that God comes through. He does not stop Abraham part way up that hill. Nor does He stop him as the altar is being prepared. He waits until the boy is on the altar and the knife is raised. A place of complete trust in a God He was grateful to know as His friend.
Will an ungrateful heart build an altar in obedience? Will an ungrateful heart see the goodness of God in places of surrender? Will an ungrateful heart see that everything that we have, whether for a short duration or for a lifetime, all belong to God? No, only the grateful heart knows that reward. The reward of seeing God provide in a way that only He can.
Today I am grateful that God is always good. When what He asks of me seems to be in opposition to that truth, may I lean hard on His character and not my carnal assessment. May He make me a woman who perseveres because gratitude overflows.