Hope against Hope
3- Week Bible Study –
Based off of the book, “Reclaiming Hope: Overcoming the Challenges of Parenting Foster and Adopted Children”
Available on Amazon
Click here: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B016OKS7NG
I received devastating news this week.
My sweet friend lost her first husband to cancer, and now she would be doing it again.
The message said:
“Not long to live”
There’s. No. Hope.
I wept. I’d lost a close friend a couple of years ago to fast-acting cancer. Not again, Lord, not again.
We had prayed and believed and prayed… and ultimately accepted that God’s will was different than our hopes. That friend leapt into glory.
I’m faced again with a promise of death.
Abraham had hopes, too. He and Sarah wanted a child (Genesis 15).
But he also had dead places. “Without becoming weak in faith he [Abraham] contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb” (Romans 4:19).
God spoke a promise to Abraham and Sarah that defied their hopelessness. There was NO way these old folks were having a baby. It hadn’t happened in all those years; it was a long-dead dream in their hearts.
Then God spoke: “‘Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them… So shall your offspring be.’ Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness” Genesis 15:5-6).
Yet Abraham, “in hope against hope he believed” (Romans 4: 18, emphasis mine).
He saw the reality. On this earth, there was no hope that he was going to have a child. His body was as good as dead. His wife’s womb was too old. His ultimate hope was against hope. Are you catching this with me?
There are times when there actually is no earthly hope! Not without divine intervention.
“In hope, against hope he believed.”
Abraham chose a biblical hope, the hope of God’s promise, which flew in the face of earthly realities. He would believe God for His promise, even if there was no earthly possibility of it coming to be.
“Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body… yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God…” (Romans 4: 19-22, emphasis mine).
This, my precious sisters, is the definition of hope. We can, in the face of broken realities, terminal prognoses, unbeatable odds, believe God to keep His word. We can believe Him to do the impossible.
Even now, though, walking this new cancer journey with my friend, I waver between hope and despair. I don’t have a spoken promise from God that my friend will be cured. I know God can heal him. But will He? And if not, why?
Will I fall into the lies that Satan is quick to whisper? That God only heals other people? That everyone I love will leave? That I’m not loved enough, good enough, desired enough to have a miracle of God?
I do, however, have a promise that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
I have other promises, too. Promises that fly in the face of broken earthly hope. Promises with which we can in hope, against hope, believe.
These are your promises, too.
Promises that He is never late (Habakuk 2).
That He loves us (John 3:16).
That He has a plan and a purpose (Jeremiah 29:11).
The He fights on our behalves (Exodus 14:14).
That He is our strength when we’re weary (Isaiah 40:29).
That He never leaves us alone (Isaiah 43:2).
That His love for us is unshakeable (Isaiah 54:10).
That we are forgiven (1 John 1:9).
That He will meet all of our needs (Philippians 4:19).
That He is a safe place (Psalm 9:9-10).
That He will give us peace when it doesn’t make sense (Philippians 4:6-7).
Today I choose to believe and accept whatever God’s will is for my friend. God may, with great love and mercy, welcome him into eternity. And I will mourn, but not as one without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
And God may, against all earthly realities, renew and heal his earthly life and lengthen his ministry. This is my earthly hope. But it is not my only hope.
What about you? What broken realities are you facing today? Where do you need to believe in hope, against hope, for the promises of God? Take some time today to allow God’s kindness to pour over that situation, that you may have eyes to see His goodness where despair seems to reign.
Meet me next week as we conclude with persevering through hope deferred.