• W. Austin Gardner

Faith Overcoming Fear


Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. 2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. 7 And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? 9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. 11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away. 12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. 13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. 17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. 18 In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: 19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, 20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

  • Abram wants to see God work in his life and begins to doubt Him

  • He just had great faith and then his faith comes crashing down and he asks God if he is really going to do anything

  • The story is that God is going to come through and just tells Abram to sit back and watch what He is going to do


  1. The promise in response to the act of faith Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

  2. “After these things” talking about the conquering of the 4 kings, the returning of the goods and people, the declaration of faith that Abram knew it was God that had won the victory and he did not need anything the pagan king could give him

  3. God speaks and reminds Abram that He will protect him, from the 4 kings, enemies, whatever-he did not need an alliance with the world to be protected

  4. Abram did not need the money that the world had to offer. He could trust God.

  5. What a beautiful response and promise from God

  6. Abram is very likely scared, worried about what might happen now with the kings, will they retaliate?

  7. God understands your faith and your fear

  8. He knows you are worried about protecting yourself and providing for yourself

  9. He is able, trust Him

  10. The first time we see the words “fear not” in the Bible

  11. If you spend all your time looking at yourself, you will be discouraged but if you look to God in faith you will be encouraged

  12. Remember to keep your priorities right and as you step out then God will move in your life Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

  13. As you pay the price to serve God, you can be sure that He will meet your needs Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

  14. Have you decided to honor God even when it might cost you to do so?

  15. One of the biggest sacrifices and risks you take is to honor God with your money, are you a giver?

  16. Another great risk is allowing God to do with your children whatever He wants, are you trying to save them from missionary work, make sure they have a great and successful future

  17. Have you boldly and publicly declared your faith in Jesus when it might have cost you?

  18. Have you stepped out where only God could take care of you and you really needed to hear Him say that He is your protector and provider?

  19. Doubts come rushing in after the mountaintop of faith 2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

  20. Abram can see that he is getting old and still has no child, these are the facts that he can see, circumstances 2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?

  21. Abram is concerned that God isn’t fulfilling His Word, His promise

  22. Abram wants to help God out. A basic lesson in the school of faith is that God’s will must be fulfilled in God’s way and in God’s time

  23. Abram offers his servant Eliezer so that God can call him his son and save face 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

  24. God reiterates His promise 4 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

  25. God will not take what we can do, and call it His

  26. God is not in need of our help to accomplish His purposes

  27. We need to learn to trust God and wait on Him to do His will in His way and at His time

  28. God lets Abram know that when He answers the prayer, it will be with real power 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

  29. You are going to have more children than you can count

  30. Look up and quick looking down

  31. Quit looking at yourself and realize that I have the power that makes things happen

  32. How do you deal with your doubts?

  33. Do you express them to God and allow Him to work in your life to prove Himself?

  34. Do you look to His promises and count them as more real than the circumstances where you live?

  35. Do you try to answer your own prayers without waiting on God?

  36. Will you listen to His Word so that it can make a difference in your life

  37. The key truth illustrated in Abram’s life 6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. 7 And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.

  38. Abram believed God. He believed the promise. That God would bless the world through his seed

  39. It was God that had brought Abram out of idol worship and it was God that would continue to take Abram forward

  40. This is the verse that is most central to the truth and doctrine we preach

  41. It wasn’t Abram’s obedience but his faith

  42. It wasn’t his tithe but his faith

  43. Abram wasn’t righteous but was counted righteous

  44. It was God declaring an unworthy man righteous

  45. God cuts a covenant with Abram Jeremiah 34:18 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof, 19 The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf;

  46. Abram wants to know how He can be sure that God is going to give Him the land and the inheritance He has promised him 8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

  47. God tells Abram to prepare everything for the cutting covenant 9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

  48. This is a solemn ritual that binds people in a promise using the death of animals

  49. The animals are sacrificed, bodies divided with halves on each side

  50. The parties to the covenant then walk between the pieces of the sacrifice

  51. This ritual was to say that if each party didn't keep their word then they would deserve the same fate as the animals

  52. Abram prepared everything and protected the sacrifice but fell asleep 11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away. 12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

  53. He killed the animals

  54. Laid them on the ground

  55. Drove the buzzards away but then fell asleep

  56. God came down and talked to him

  57. God made promises to Abram 13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

  58. God told Abram that his children would be strangers in Egypt

  59. That from their suffering, God would give them great wealth

  60. God promised Abram that He would live a good, long life

  61. Notice that the promise was one-sided, it was what God promised to do

  62. Abram never made a trip between the sacrifice, only God 17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.

  63. It was a covenant of grace 18 In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

  64. The Lord made the covenant

  65. The Lord made the promises

  66. There were no conditions placed on Abram

  67. In the horror of great darkness, Abram heard what God planned to do 12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

  68. God had a plan for the nation of Israel

  69. He had a plan for Abram

  70. He had a plan for the land

  71. God was working, making promises, telling Abram what was going to happen

  72. God promised what He would do and Abraham will simply wait to see God do what He has promised Hebrews 6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, 14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

  73. God shows Himself with two symbols 17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.

  74. A smoking furnace or purifying furnace

  75. A burning lamp or light

  76. The promise to Abram was one-sided, it was grace

  77. The only one that will have to keep His Word is God and His Son’s body was broken to keep His Word

  78. Personal application

  79. Know that you will have feelings of fear but you will choose to believe God over your fears

  80. Stepping out by faith does bring risk and nothing can be done to avoid that

  81. Any time that you have great mountaintops of faith, then you can expect temptation and discouragement

  82. Be careful to wait on God to answer your prayers. It is easy to try to do things in the flesh under your own power

  83. Know that real faith is believing God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God

  84. Know that God’s promises are God-dependent and not you dependent

  85. Realize that the real sacrifice in your relationship to God is what He has done

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