Forging an Unwavering Hope
‘That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.’ Romans 4:17-19 (NLT)
Life can be super discouraging; we all know that first-hand. There are things that we hope for, places we dream of going and things we long to do, and sometimes, things just don’t turn out the way we expect.
Hope isn’t something that comes naturally to us. It’s like trust, it needs to be built and exercised. Trying to build trust in a rocky relationship that isn’t necessarily good for you is challenging and usually doesn't work. But when you build trust with someone that genuinely cares about you and your feelings, it becomes a firm relationship that you can rely on.
It’s the exact same way with how we exercise our hope. When you put your hope in worldly things and desires, you really don’t obtain a hope that sustains you. When you put your hope in God and His promises for your life, your hope only continues to grow and your roots will travel deeper into the strong foundation of who God is and what his plans are for you.
In our key verse, we see the relentless hope Abraham had in the promises that God had given him and how he completely defined his life by who God was to him. It says in verse 18 “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping— believing that he would become the father of many nations.” When there was absolutely no reason to hope, when all the odds and circumstances seemed to be against what God was clearly telling Abraham, his hope remained strong and did not falter at any second. That is the type of hope that God wants to give you today: hope that doesn’t waver at the sight of trial or confrontation; hope that stands strong on all that God says and isn’t influenced by anything our circumstances have to say.
Abraham was not perfect and he made mistakes just like us, but his failure was a testament to who God is and who He called him to be. When we fail or fall short of the glory of God, in that moment when we ask for forgiveness, God begins the process of teaching us and growing our knowledge to more closely line up with His. It is in our imperfections and flaws that God is able to do such an important work in us and in our hearts.
Through this example of Abraham and his hope there are three things that I want to stress the importance of today. First being this: our hope needs to be continually exercised and cared for. Just like any muscle in the body, once you stop using and strengthening it, you lose all of its endurance and power. It’s like when you get that Planet Fitness membership in January and you hit the gym with ambition and dedication about everyday of the week. Then summer rolls around, and you find yourself right back where you started, with frail muscles and a 12 pack of donuts in your kitchen.
It’s time to get back in the gym, people!
The ways in which we can exercise our hope is giving God the time that He deserves. It’s taking the time to open up your Bible and heart to what God wants to speak into you for the day. When you truly value your one on one time with God throughout the day just as much as anything else, you will find that God will build a hope in you that is close to unshakeable.
Second, hope is completely a gift from God that we did nothing to deserve. Hope is what makes us feel secure. It is God’s promises insuring us that we are completely cared for and protected by Him. Many people don’t have that gift of truly knowing that they are in the palm of God’s hand, and have no reason to worry about the past, future or present. That is truly a priceless feeling.
Lastly, we have nothing without our hope, trust, and faith in Jesus Christ our Savior. Without our faith and relationship with God, we don’t have a solid foundation to stand on. That is what God is to us. He is our rock, our stronghold in times of weariness and trouble. Upon Him, we can do anything He sets our minds to. He is our one and only strength and hope in this world of endless ebbs and flows.
“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” Romans 4:20-25 (NLT)
I thank you for how you use us each and every day. I pray that you would continue to grow our hope in you and overwhelm us with your spirit. Give us the desire and ambition to pursue you in every moment we face. I pray that you give us the desire to sink into your spirit and love in the times where we feel discouraged and hopeless. Remind us who we are in you and all that you can do through us. I am beyond grateful for your love, you have never failed me yet.
In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen