“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. Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead-since he was about a hundred years old-and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why ‘it was credited to him as righteousness.'” (Romans 4:18-22, NIV2)
We all have frailties, weaknesses and handicaps. One of them tends to be our own worries and fears, which can handicap us from becoming who we truly are in Christ. Too easily we let the influences of this world affect our spiritual growth.
Strangely, in a land of plenty, we either shake in our boots or we become indifferent when asked to stand up for our Daddy in Heaven and share the hope that would turn the world around. We consider ourselves unprepared to be His witnesses. We have plenty of excuses, many legitimate, others not. And so we tend to be church pew potatoes, confining our faith to church time.
Didn’t Moses have basically the same kind of justifications? Still God shone through Him, once he abdicated his crusade for a higher calling.
Interestingly, Abraham truly had no reason to hope for an heir, as his body as well as his wife’s were well past their prime. What God was saying was just impossible! Impossible — At least by human standards! A child at their age would be completely unheard of!
Did this affect Abraham’s faith? No way! He had many legitimate excuses, but he never dwelt on these. Instead he never doubted that his Heavenly Daddy would somehow fulfill His promise. That’s faith. Real faith. Not only did Abraham have this hope, he also continually praised God publically for being his strength. His relationship with God was more important than any of his desires. But then, it is when we hunger the most for God that He provides the impossible!
We may not be openly declaring God’s goodness, but if that is the case, stones will cry out and be the witnesses to the Most High. “‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.'” (Luke 19:40, NIV2). I saw that very fact with my own eyes. We were in Barre, Vermont, and as we walked through Hope Cemetery we encountered two unusual tomb stones in the shape of pyramids. One was the husband’s tombstone, the other, the wife’s. Both were proclaiming a message of hope that goes beyond our mortality. Engraved on all sides of both pyramids, was a message that started with “If you met Jane Elinor Vrooman and forgot her, you have lost nothing, but if you met Jesus Christ and forgot him, you have lost everything. If you want to meet me later in heaven, please read on . . .
Will we let ourselves be beaten by stones? Or will we, with God’s help, be beacons of hope in this world? Will we follow in Abraham’s footsteps and trust in our Heavenly Daddy openly and vigorously? After all, He is the Only One who can perform the impossible! Why not experience Him fully!
(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)