There is an old hymn by P. P. Bliss called “Almost Persuaded” that tells a sad tale of those who never take the step from knowledge of Christ to belief in Christ. Hearing the invitation to come to Jesus, they refuse – waiting for a more “convenient” day to take that step of faith.
In contrast to this picture, today’s reading in Roman’s extols Abraham as one “being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:21)
Paul uses the description of Abraham to help the Jewish Christians of the early church who were bound to a tradition of law and works understand what it meant to live a life of grace and faith. You might say these early Christians were somewhat persuaded. They believed in the resurrected Jesus, but were having trouble understanding how to live this out day-to-day.
I suppose that many of us find ourselves in the same predicament of being somewhat persuaded. We believe in God and his power to work in and through us, but we turn to our own devices and plans without bringing God into the situation at all.
Another old hymn gives us some good words on how to move from “somewhat persuaded” to “fully persuaded” in all aspects of our life.
True-hearted, whole-hearted, fullest allegiance
Yielding henceforth to our glorious King;
Valiant endeavor and loving obedience,
Freely and joyously now would we bring.
True-hearted, whole-hearted, Savior all glorious!
Take Thy great power and reign there alone,
Over our will and affections victorious,
Freely surrendered and wholly Thine own.
George C. Stebbins