Romans 4:3 - For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”
When God spoke with Abraham 4,000 years ago, he told Abraham a lot of stuff that was hard to believe - that he and Sarah (way beyond child-bearing years) would have a son and that the number of his descendants would be enormous:
Genesis 15:4 - the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
It was faith that made Abraham righteous before God (put him in right relation to God).
And Jesus says it is faith that saves us (the word “believe” is used of Abraham and by Jesus):
John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
From the beginning, God had in mind the means through which people would be saved:
Romans 4:23-25 - But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Justification being that fancy word meaning “declared right with God.”
As the faith of many of us today is dimished by the sweeping hand of deconstruction and the neglect of drift, may we listen to the very first words above: “For what does the Scripture say?”
For a story has been intelligently unfolding for millenia. Where we doubt (even in the bible itself), may God strengthen us. May we pray from our hearts like David… and may God hear us!
Psalm 143:7-8 - Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.