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.” (ESV)
We have hopes and wishes. The mistake we make is that we think that these words are synonyms. I may wish I was a millionaire. I have no genuine hopes of ever being one. A wish is a desire that is not very realistic. Hope is an act by which we believe that what we want can and will happen. It simply has not happened yet.
Our verse today does not say that Abraham wished against wishes, but rather that in hope he believed against hope. The word believe in that sentence is pivotal. Abraham truly believed that what God said he would do would happen. There was no way of knowing when this would happen but Abraham knew enough about God to know that his hope was in the right place.
I can imagine that there were many times when Abraham would have to fight against the inevitable doubts that the enemy would bring his way. Since the Garden of Eden that lying serpent has been trying to question the promises of God. I would not be surprised if the enemy used that same line with Abraham. I can hear his evil whisper, "Did God really say you would be a father of nations?"
When God makes promises in His Word we can know that he is trustworthy. He will accomplish what He has said he will do. Consider your salvation. He has promised that those who place their faith in Him will inherit eternal life. Our hope is secure. Yes, the enemy will whisper his evil words of doubt in our ears, but in hope we can believe against hope that God's promises are secure for our salvation.
When you consider what God has promised to you are you filled with hope or wishes? Wishes are not realistic. Take your hope in God seriously. He fulfills His promises. He is faithful.