I was reading Romans 4 the other day and verse 18 jumped off the page at me. Ever have one of those moments? You know the Bible story or passage well – have read and studied it numerous times – and suddenly you see something you’ve never seen before. In telling of Abraham’s faith regarding the promise of Isaac, Paul writes in Romans 4:18, “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.’” Did you see the magnificent statement “In hope he believed against hope”?
Another way to say this is that even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway. Look at the story in context of Romans 4:18-21:
18 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.” 19 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. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
We can glean a lot of encouragement from this passage because all of us encounter seemingly hopeless situations. When Abraham considered his own body, which was as good as dead, and likewise Sarah’s womb, his faith did not waver concerning God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. Notice that Abraham brought glory to God while he was waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. In spite of what seemed like a hopeless situation, Abraham was “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised,” and never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, while he waited his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. In hoping and waiting and believing, Abraham gave glory to God.
No matter what trials or suffering we encounter in life, no matter how hopeless our situation may appear, God’s promises are our confident hope. God is faithful. It is who He is. Whether it’s a Bible verse that God gives us as a promise of hope for our situation, or a Scripture promise pertaining to our spiritual welfare, God will bring it to fulfillment. No promise of His has ever failed and cannot fail because of His honor and character. “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Num. 23:19). Whether God’s promises are related to time or eternity, to our physical life or spiritual well-being, God will bring them to completion. Because of all God is in Himself, He cannot go back on His Word or promises.
No matter what you are going through, my friend, keep hoping and keep believing. Though the waiting is difficult, and often times very painful, don’t give up! Lift up your heart to God, cry out to Him, and remain fully convinced that He is able to do what He has promised. Regardless of what is happening around you and what your circumstances tell you, hope against hope in our promise-keeping God!
In God’s divine love,