“God… gives life to the dead and calls into being things that are not as though they were. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations.”Romans 4:17b-18
God told Abraham that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars. But the 100-year old Abraham was as good as dead, and the womb of Sarah his wife was no better. Hope in the promises of God often runs counter to the realities which surround us. To be frank, God’s promises can sound absurd. A son at 100, and descendants as numerous as the stars? Grown-ups being born again? Resurrection from the dead? And because we don’t always understand how God’s plans will be realized, we don’t often know how to respond (Genesis 17:18; John 3:4; Acts 17:32).
Abraham’s situation is not unlike some of those we face. Based on his circumstances, he had no reason to believe. Abraham had to hope against hope and get past his doubts. In other words, he had to trust his Lord in “defiance of every human calculation and contrary to all human expectation” (C. E. B. Cranfield, 1975). Like Abraham, you must also learn to put your trust fully and firmly in God’s promises, for no other reason other than that it is God who has promised.
“Hope… recognizes that what is dead is dead, but knows that God can give life where there is no life” (Leon Morris, 1992).