Skip to main content

Romans 4:18: In Hope He Believed Against Hope


Romans 4:18
[18] 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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Romans 8:18: For I Consider That The Sufferings Of This Present Time Are Not Worth Comparing

Romans 8:18
[18] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (ESV)

Perspective. What an important word. Let's be honest. We do not like the idea of suffering. We will do almost anything to avoid any kind of suffering. Some churches have gone so far as to preach against the idea of suffering, declaring it to not be a part of the true believer's life. Paul is not shy about the topic.

Paul uses the sufferings of this present time as a means to consider the greater glory that awaits us. Perspective. Paul is not in any way attempting to diminish our suffering. A view toward eternity puts our suffering in a proper understanding. Yes, our suffering is terrible. In the grand scheme of eternity it is not even worth comparison.

Maybe you are thinking that Paul does not know what he is talking about when it comes to suffering. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul describes countless beatings, often near death, being ston…

Romans 15:14: I Myself Am Satisfied About You, My Brothers

Romans 15:14
[14] I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. (ESV)

The Apostle Paul was a strong man. His words to the churches in all of his letters are full of doctrinal truth and instruction that are not for the faint of heart. In this letter to the church at Rome he had to correct them in their understanding of how to deal with issues that could potentially divide them. Paul had never even been to Rome yet. He had not met these believers.

Paul is telling the church at Rome in this verse that the reason they were able to receive his strong words was because of their spiritual maturity. He declares that they are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. This is an incredible compliment that Paul would not offer to every church.

This concept of being filled with goodness and knowledge speaks of a group of believers who had listened to the Word of…

Romans 15:16: To Be A Minister Of Christ Jesus To The Gentiles In The Priestly Service Of The Gospel Of God

Romans 15:16
[16] to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

The time of the Early Church was a time of great transition. Up until Christ coming and bringing redemption to all who believer the people of faith were the Jews. If you wanted to worship God the only appropriate way was to go through a priest who would offer sacrifices on your behalf to God. All of the sacrificial system was fulfilled in Christ. Now, there was a new way to righteousness.

This time of transition was a challenge for all involved. The Jews had to move from an approach to God that involved keeping the Law. The Law was fulfilled in Christ. Now the way of salvation was a way of faith. There were some traditional aspects that were now gone. It was hard for them to move away from their traditions. It is hard for all of us to move from our traditions.

For the Gentile convert…