Sunday, January 7, 2018

Romans 4:18-25

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

 

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed…” What a mighty act of Abraham, to think that he did not waver in faith despite all the reasons it seemed futile, even impossible, that he should continue to believe in God’s promises! His faith is a powerful example for us.

Any one of us can face difficult days when tragedy and heartbreak seem overwhelming, and no good solution seems to be in sight. It seems obvious that we should just give up and accept the hard prognosis, except by faith. Some small kernel of hope clings on, scrabbling for a hand hold amidst the steep cavern of helplessness lurking beneath us. We cry out to God for help, for a reason to keep believing and trusting in God’s help and goodness. And like a still, small voice, God renews us in hope.

That’s the kind of faith I want – one that keeps looking at what God is doing, rather than what seems reasonable or expected. God can do impossible things; Abraham and Sarah discovered that God’s promises can be trusted, no matter how long it takes. May we find that is true as well.

 

Prayer

We praise you, dear God, for the blessing and privilege of faith. Thank you that your promises may be trusted, and that you plan for our good. In all things, keep us strong as we stay close to you. Remind us of those like Abraham and Sarah who were blessed by faith. For this we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

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