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When one thinks or studies about faith, he must include Abraham, the father of faith. According to James 2:23, he was also called "friend of God." Father of faith or friend of God is as great a compliment as was ever bestowed on a mortal man.

His title of "father of faith" comes as a result of being the first person to walk by faith. To venture out into a place he had never been or seen through simple obedience is a prime example of walking in faith.

He didn't need a map; he didn't need to spy out the land; he didn't need to talk with anyone who had already been there. He received his marching orders and obeyed, and thus became the father of not only Israel, but of all who would ever follow and believe as he did.

"Know ye therefore that they, which are of faith, the same, are the children of Abraham" (Gal. 3:7).

So he is not only the father of faith to the Jew but also to all Christian believers. All the blessings that came upon Abraham will also come on all who are of faith.

"So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham" (Gal. 3:9).

We need to examine very carefully the walk and life of this man of faith. God honored him, blessed him and heard and answered his prayers. He blessed him in peace and in time of war and prospered him until he had not one need, being one of the wealthiest men to ever live.

First, let us see how his faith worked for him and then we shall examine his personality. The book of Genesis gives us a detailed record of what happened. Romans 4 tells us how it happened.

Most everyone who has any Bible knowledge is acquainted with the story of how Sarah, wife of Abraham, was childless and an old woman of 90 when the Lord promised her she would bear a child. Abraham himself was over 100 years old.

Romans 4:17 gives us Faith Lesson No. 1 "Calling those things which are not as though they were." God here gives us a mighty thing to confess…" those things which are not as though they are!"

How Does Your Faith Speak?
How does your conversation sound in time of great need? Do you talk about things as they are? When you are sick do you talk about your sickness as it is, describing every symptom in detail? Or is your conversation as though you were already made well and rejoicing? From childhood most of us were taught by our parents to get sympathy by not only describing our symptoms, but even exaggerating, so as to hear a sympathetic. "You poor dear, lie down and I'll take care of you."

Does this call back any memories to you as you read it? Most of us will sign and have to admit that we were not only taught this as a child, but that it has carried over into our adulthood and we can still do a good joy of sympathy-seeking, negative talking. Have you noticed that people who continually speak confidently and positively seldom get any sympathy? Have you also noticed that they have very little need for it?

How about your finances? Do you talk about what you "do not have"? It is probably the truth, but it is not faith. You could talk about the wealth you will have because God is your father and He will supply your every need.

How does your conversation sound when you are laid off your job? Do you hear yourself saying, "I don't know what we are going to do"…or, do you hear yourself saying, "God must have a better job for me somewhere?" If your conversation is the latter, then you are calling those things which are not as though they were.

Abraham did this in Romans 4:19:
And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead when he was about an hundred years old neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb.
I heard about a man who had tried everything he knew to receive his healing. Nothing seemed to work. In desperation he determined to believe God, using this verse. He refused to consider his own body and symptoms. When after a time nothing had happened and he was in the same condition as before, he inquired of the Lord saying, "I am lying here and not considering anything and nothing is happening."

The Lord said, "That is your problem. You are not considering anything. Why don't you consider me?" He did, and was healed. He turned his thoughts AWAY from all his symptoms and put them ON God.

You cannot consider or talk about things as they are and at the same time talk about how they will be by faith. Abraham, the father of faith, knew this and practiced it. Considering and talking about your symptoms will never encourage your faith but rather will destroy it.

Someone has said that if the Railway Expressman delivers a box of rattlesnakes to your door, he cannot leave them unless you sign for them. This simple illustration witnesses that we should not "sign for" or accept or claim anything we do not want. Abraham was not signing for a failure. He refused to accept defeat even when all proof seemed to indicate it.

"He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith giving glory to God. (Rom. 4:20).

Unbelief will make you stagger - reel with uncertainty - say things you should not say. Unbelief expressed takes authority in your heart and reigns in your emotions.

Abraham had every right to sit down and have a long pity party for himself, but instead he praised the Lord, gave glory to Him and believed in Him against all odds. That is exactly how your faith will work for you. Thank God for a thing before you get it, as you would after you receive it! Anyone can give glory and thank God for it after they receive it, but faith expresses appreciation before it happens.

You can almost hear our Father say to an angel, "What is it that Abraham is so happy about?" The angel would reply, "He is thanking you for the son you are going to give him in his old age." The Father's response would be, "Well the, it must be time to bring it to pass."

What do you need? Have you asked for it? Have you thanked Him for it? Yes! Thank Him now for it to the extent that when you receive it you will not have to say a thing, because you will have already said it! What kind of man is this man of faith?

First he was a "friend of God." Faith is not a gimmick or gadget fashioned to get things from God. Your faith will build a beautiful relationship with God. How many friendships are based only on what one party received, but never himself gives? Abraham gave as much as he received•"giving glory to God."

A Sense Of Humor
Abraham also had another great principle in his personality that all of us should emulate. He had a great sense of humor. When God informed him that they were to have a son in their old age, Abraham, laughed so hard he fell on his face (Gen. 17:17.

Not only did he have a great sense of humor, but Sarah did also for she laughed, not in unbelief as some might think, because Hebrews 11:11 tells us she had faith to have the strength to have a child. Yes, this family, the first family of faith, gives us this great example that faith can laugh and does, indeed, laugh. In fact, they laughed so much that they named their son "Laughter," which is the meaning of the name "Isaac."

Laughter is joy overflowing. E Merrill Roots says, "Laughter is the outward sign of inward and invisible freedom." Even in times when all symptom say "no," the body feels negative, friends and neighbors are discouraging, medical reports are disheartening…then faith looks over the whole picture and laughs because it can see the results.

Time To Laugh
A young man, called to pastor a small church in New England and attending his first service, found only one man in attendance. He asked the man's opinion as to whether they should go ahead and have a service. the man replied, "Well, if I take a load of hay down to feed the cattle and only one cow shows up, I feed her." So the young man went through every exercise of the service from beginning to end and when it was finished he asked the man, "How was it?" The man replied, "Well, I'll tell you, when I take a load of hay down to feed the cattle and only one cow shows up. I don't feed her the whole load."

Source: He Who Laughs Lasts And Lasts by Dr. Roy Hicks
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Roy Hicks
Web site:
Roy H. Hicks was a successful minister of the Gospel who gave his life to pastoring and pioneering churches throughout the United States. He served the Lord in various foreign fields, having made missionary journeys to South America, the Orient, Australia, and New Zealand.

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