A Reason to Hope

“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 4:18-19 NLT

We read today more about Abraham’s faith. He had been given a promise that, in the natural, was impossible to fulfil. After all, how can someone approaching the age of 100 bear a child in her womb. Without a child and heir, how could Abraham keep on hoping that it would happen one day. There was indeed “no reason to hope”. 

What are we pilgrims hoping for? A new job? A child? A restored relationship? The list of human hopes is probably endless. But are we hoping to see the fruition of a God-given promise, like Abraham, or just something we thought about in the shower this morning? Proverbs 13:12 records the debilitating effects of unrealised hopes. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life”. 

In our natural world, “hope” is something very different from Abrahamic hope. We “hope” to go on holiday. We “hope” to have enough money to pay the electricity bill this month. But in the Kingdom of God, our “hope” for a warm home is based on God’s promises such as Philippians 4:19, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus”. Another “hope” we may have is to get some relief from the chaotic and clamorous lives that we leave, and the worries that drag us down. Well, Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus”. And there are other examples of how God has an answer for our “hopes”. You see, Abraham’s hope was based on something that God promised him, and he believed it with something we call faith. We read in Hebrews 11:1, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see”. Faith is the glue that joins our hopes to God’s provision. We may never see the answer to our hopes in our lifetimes. For example, we may spend our lives praying for the salvation of a family member, and not see it happen before we pass, but God will still answer our prayer at the right time.

So what do we pilgrims “hope” for. Is it based on something from God? Something like a prophetic word brought to us by a faithful brother or sister? Or a promise we have read in the Bible, a verse that immediately connects with our spirits? Whatever it is, we must let our faith grow, as we pray for the answer that God has promised.

Dear God. We know that only You have the answers to our questions, our confusion. We bring our hopes to Your feet today and look to You for the provision for our needs. Amen.

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