“And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6, ESV)
Abram asked the Lord how He would fulfill the promise of numerous descendants since he had no children of his own. The Lord told him that a child of his own flesh would be his heir. Abram believed in spite of the circumstances, in spite his current situation, in spite of what he saw with his eyes. He believed God would fulfill his promise even though it appeared that it was almost impossible since Sarai was quite old and was barren. He trusted God would provide. That faith is what God acknowledged and which he rewarded by declaring Abram righteous, that is totally acceptable and pleasing in His sight. This declaration was a legal determination but it was based solely on God’s love and mercy, and had nothing to do with Abram’s actions to date or any actions he would perform in the future.
God still declares men righteous based on the faith which He imparts to each. He does this based upon His will not on anything the believer has done or will do and despite whatever sins he or she has committed or is struggling with. What God does is in total contrast to the ways of our world, our cultures or our social structures. These reward people praise, honor, fame and rewards for their achievements or their name or their looks. But the Lord chooses the meek and lowly, the despised, the losers to be members of His heavenly Kingdom. How glorious is this great love of God!