“Again, she gave birth to his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of flocks, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.”
So you may be wondering how this story in Genesis relates to our topic of faith. Great question, thanks for asking! In this passage, we have two seemingly good offerings given to God, but for some reason God accepted Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. So what happened? What was different?
The reason lies in the heart behind the gift. Abel and Cain had two differing motives behind their offering. To see this, it is helpful to get a different perspective. Hebrews 11:4 says “By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain.” The key words here are “by faith”. According to Hebrews, God accepted Abel's offering because of his faith. Cain didn’t give his gift in faith. It sounds like God would have accepted his offering if he had given with the right intentions.
How does this story apply to our lives today? Again, great question. Although the gifts the brothers gave were different, they weren’t treated so differently because of that. They were treated differently because of the heart behind the sacrifices.
What we have to offer may look different from others, but God just wants our best. In Luke 21, Jesus tells of a widow who gave an offering of “two small copper coins,” and he regarded it as a greater value than the large sums given by rich people. Why? The widow gave her best. And when we do that, God chooses to honor us.
If you find it difficult to trust God, give Him what faith you do have. This week I challenge you to trust God in any way you can… even if it feels small to you. Then move to trusting Him with a little bit more. Each time you trust Him more, He will be so thankful to work with what you have to give. Growing in faith usually doesn't look like gaining an immense amount of faith in one moment. It involves a movement towards God. It’s a process. The good news is that God is patient and will lead you through this journey. It is so worth it. Trust the process.
God, thank You for taking what I have to give even when it feels small to me. I pray that You give me the ability to trust You with more and more each day. Thank You for being patient and understanding during the process. Amen.