Remain Strong in Faith

Yael Eckstein  |  October 29, 2020

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Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. — Genesis 12:10

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Lech Lecha, which means “go to yourself,” from Genesis 12:1–17:27.

When my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founded The Fellowship in 1983, he knew that God had called him to do the work of building bridges between Christians and Jews. Yet, those first decades weren’t easy. After putting in countless hours at the office, my father worked in a wedding band on nights and weekends in order to make ends meet. In addition, he encountered painful criticism from both Christian and Jewish leaders.

But no matter how tough things got, my father never quit. He had faith that God would help him become successful one day. Even when success seemed far away or unlikely to ever materialize, he kept going.

Whenever I encounter difficulties in my own life, I think of my father’s perseverance and faith, and it gives me the strength to carry on and helped me to remain strong in faith.

This week’s Torah portion begins with God’s promises to Abraham to bless him and make him into a great nation if he would follow God to an unknown land. Yet, shortly after Abraham arrived in Canaan, “there was a famine in the land…” Abraham had no choice but to move to Egypt.

It would have been understandable for Abraham to question God’s promises. It would have made sense for him to feel dejected after he had kept his end of the bargain by going to Canaan while God’s promises seemed nowhere to be found.

But Abraham remained strong in faith. While leaving the holy land for Egypt may have seemed like taking a giant step back from his goal, Abraham trusted God to lead him in the right direction.  Ultimately, Abraham and Sarah came out of Egypt, completely unharmed, and blessed with incredible wealth.

Friends, when life takes us on all sorts of strange twists and turns, let us remember that it’s not we who are driving the car. The Lord Almighty is guiding us, and He knows exactly where we need to be. Sometimes it seems that things aren’t going the way that they should be. But we need to remain strong in faith that it’s all part of God’s plan. Our job is to stay in obedience and keep going — God will take care of the blessings.

Your turn:

Which Bible verse inspires you to keep going when life seems most challenging? Share it with me in the comments below!