Pastor Bob Cattane allowed me to share this message at Flint New Life Church of the Nazarene on March 18, 2012. May you have hope today as you trust in Jesus Christ!
“Hope in Hopeless circumstances”
In the Old Testament, Genesis 1:1, God instructs Abram to leave his country and go where He will show him. Genesis 12:2, the Lord speaks to Abram, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you,..” Abram left as God had told him to. He obeyed in faith – not because of what he could see. At the time God speaks, Abram was married to Sarai and they are childless. Abram is 75 years old and she is 65 years old.
Some time goes by and in Genesis 15:3 Abram said, “You have given me no children…” Abram has not seen God’s promise realized. Most of us would likely start to doubt. God reassures him in Genesis 15:5, “Look up at the heavens and count the starts – if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Wow!
Genesis 15:6, Abram believed the Lord.
Many years go by and Abram is now 99 years old and Sarai is 89 years old. In Genesis 17:6 God said to him, “I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you and kings will come from you.” God changed his name from Abram to Abraham – which means father of many. In Genesis 17:16 God says about Sarai, “I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of many nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
In Genesis 21:1, “Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 21:3, Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.”
In the New Testament in Romans 4:18, Paul writes, “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.”
Why does it say, against all hope? Because when Abraham was 99 and Sarah 89 – they still had no son together. Sarah was well past child-bearing age. Abraham was an old man.
Other translations of the Bible make it more clear. “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping – believing” it states in The New Living Translation.
“Hoping in spite of hopeless circumstances, he believed.” This is from The International Standard Version
God’s Word Translation states, “When there was nothing left to hope for, Abraham still hope and believed.”
The one I like best, Weymouth New Testament, Under utterly hopeless circumstances, he hopefully believed.
Are we familiar with hopeless circumstances? What did Abraham believe about them? He believed not in the circumstances and what he could see but he believed the promises of God! God said it and he believed it. The Bible is full of God’s promises to us. They all for all who believe. In Jeremiah 29:11, God promises, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Do you hear that? God has great plans for you. Plans that are filled with HOPE. We must put our full trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. He is FAITHFUL!!