Hoping Against Hope
Greetings, fellow disciples of Jesus,
When hope runs out, what do you do?
Abraham had been given a promise from God—that his descendants would be in number like the stars in the heavens and the grains of sand on the seashore. (His name literally meant, “father of a multitude.”)
But looking at his hundred-year-old body, (“as good as dead” said St. Paul—Romans 4:19), and at his wife, Sarah’s, ninety-year-old body, coupled with their history of infertility, what could possibly give him any hope that God’s promise would come to fruition?
When everything around you screams, “All hope is lost!” where do you turn?
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Abraham believed. Abraham believed in God and His ability to do what He promised.
“Hoping against hope,
[Abraham] believed that he would become
‘the father of many nations’…”
– Romans 4:18
It is for this reason that St. Paul points to Abraham as a forefather in faith. Abraham walked by faith and not by sight. His faith was reckoned to him as righteousness by the LORD (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:22). That is to say, by Abraham’s faith—and not by anything he did—God declared everything to be right and well between them.
We could stand to have our lives infused with a little hope these days. Some of us have been isolated from loved ones for weeks, months, a year. The toll is wearing on us.
I try not to be a person who gives people false hope. I literally made a vow in this regard (it’s part of the rite of ordination). I don’t know what impossible situation you might be facing today. I don’t know any better than the next guy how much longer you’ll have to struggle. I cannot promise healing will come in this life, nor say with anything more than wishful thinking that things will return to “normal” soon.
What I can say is this:
God is with you in whatever it is that you’re going through (Matthew 28:20).
Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
Those who trust in Him, even though they die, will live (John 11:25).
I can say these things because they are based on the one thing that is dependable in life—the one thing on which all hope clings: God’s Word.
May His promises buoy you up in hope; and may you find a way to share that hope with another who needs it this day.
Sustained by His Word,