I have made you a father of many nations. (Rom. 4:17)

WHEN WE FACE DIFFICULT FACTS IN our lives—the death of a spouse, disappointment with friends, financial troubles—we may be tempted either to despair or to minimize the problems. Abraham did neither. Instead, he fearlessly faced the facts of his life: his old age and Sarah’s barrenness. Because he was fully persuaded that God was powerful, he continued to believe that God’s promises would be fulfilled. Because of his faithful belief even when it was difficult, God reconciled Abraham to himself and made Abraham the father of many nations, and our father in the faith. Abraham’s decision to live faith-fully had consequences that echo down to the present.

This should give us hope. We don’t need to despair or to minimize our problems: we can face them squarely, as they are. We can acknowledge the real pain involved and still choose faith. When we do, we discover that our faithful choice affects more than just our own journey; it impacts the journey of all who come after us.

Do not underestimate this! As I work with college students, I see many who are afraid of the world we live in today. They fear that their faith cannot stand in amid challenging facts. When we honestly face our problems and still choose faith, we help them to see that it can; we become their fathers and mothers in the faith.

Identify someone to whom you can be a mentor in the faith.

Michael Jordan is the dean of the chapel at Houghton College, where he also serves as chair of the Department of Biblical Studies, Theology and Philosophy.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.