Pearls of the Word

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Asthenia of faith

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"And without weakening [astheneo] in faith, he took no care that his body was already exhausted, since he was nearly a hundred years old, nor that Sara was no longer able to have children" (Romans 4:19).

The Greek verb astheneo means to weaken, to respond without strength; this has given us the noun 'asthenia', meaning 'weak', 'without strength'. Asthenia is a general fatigue of the body caused by the weakening of an organ or its workings.

Spiritually, asthenia of faith comes when we reflect on our situation instead of looking towards God. It takes away our strength, just as when we were not acquainted with God (Romans 5:6).

Abraham thought like a man of great faith, thought nothing of his age and had no doubt regarding God’s promise. On the contrary, he was strengthened by faith and was able to return glory to God. That is why he is among the heroes of faith (Hebrews 11).