In Hope, Against Hope

“The promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith… It depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring… [Abraham believed in] God who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,  fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:13,16-21

Romans is rich with mysteries of faith and the sovereignty of God, and it is hard not to be moved by the way God worked in and through the faith of Abraham. God’s promise came first, yet there is a magnificent picture here of Abraham responding in faith to grasp what appeared, and physiologically was, impossible. His faith in its fulfillment was unwavering because his hope was in the Promise-Giver, the One who calls into existence the things that do not exist. He knew that he knew that he knew that unshakeable God could be held to His word, that He was not only able, but committed, to performing what He said He would do. Being His work, all depended on, and was guaranteed by, His grace, and so it would be.

Lee's Camera as of Nov 2008 385

Human doubts get swallowed in the hope of faith when we look to God. Distrust is of the flesh, but we can be confidently convinced when we rely on and put our hope in the words of our inerrant and powerful God. If we trust in the strength or gumption or strategies or methods of man, we will be disappointed; faith in these will fall empty. But the word of God– perfect, sure, right, and pure– can be trusted implicitly because it is backed by the perfection and authority of Almighty God Himself. “This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true.” Every word. (Psalm 18:30; 19:7-8; Proverbs 30:5)

Do I spiritually languish because I live in the sphere of man, the swirl of worldly pontificating, biases, opinions, promotions? Are my days lacking significance, my efforts weak, because they are founded in uncertainty of purpose, or on the shaky foundation of self-effort and pride? Am I spiraling in helpless hopelessness, looking for earthly remedy? What need I do to be more familiar with God’s good promises? Faith and hope in Him may not be popular, but they are sure bets. Those who trust in the supernatural Lord of lords will stand apart, and will stand firm. Every promise is yes and amen in our Christ. (Psalm 125:1; Jeremiah 17:7-8; 2 Corinthians 1:20)

Father, keep me believing You and standing strong in Your promises. In hope, against hope, may I ever give You glory.

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