Devotional for

When Obedience Feels Impossible

John Piper

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. (Hebrews 11:17)

For many of you right now — and for others of you the time is coming — obedience feels like the end of a dream. You feel that if you do what the word of God or the Spirit of God is calling you to do, it will make you miserable and that there is no way that God could turn it all for good.

Perhaps the command or call of God you hear just now is to stay married or stay single, to stay in that job or leave that job, to get baptized, to speak up at work about Christ, to refuse to compromise your standards of honesty, to confront a person in sin, to venture a new vocation, to be a missionary. And as you see it in your limited mind, the prospect of doing this is terrible — it's like the loss of Isaac.

You have considered every human angle, and it is impossible that it could turn out well.

Now you know what it was like for Abraham. This story is in the Bible for you.

Do you desire God and his way and his promises more than anything, and do you believe that he can and will honor your faith and obedience by being unashamed to call himself your God, and to use all his wisdom and power and love to turn the path of obedience into the path of life and joy?

That is the crisis you face now: Do you desire him? Will you trust him? The word of God to you is: God is worthy and God is able.

From “The Hope of Exiles on the Earth”