February 23, 2012

Romans 4:18
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations just as it had been said to him.

What we need to remember about Abraham and the faith he had in God is that Abraham believed even when it looked as if there were no way God could now fulfill the promise. Genesis 12:2 is the first time God calls him out. His name then is Abram and God tells him to go where He shall send him and He will make him a great nation. So Abram and Sarai along with Lot set out. At that time Sarai is in childbearing years and so the promise could easily be fulfilled. Yet strangely enough it isn’t. Then in Genesis 13:15 again God promises to Abram that he will have offspring as God shows him the land he will possess. Still the promise goes unfulfilled. Then in Genesis 15:2-5, Abram reminds God, in case He forgot, that as of today he has no heir. Sarai is older and past childbearing years, and Abram wonders how God shall fulfill the promise. God says He will and Abram believes Him. Still God does not fulfill the promise. In Genesis 17:5-7 God changes his name now to Abraham and tells him again he shall be a father of many. Abraham laughs at first; He is old and so is Sarah but God tells Him it is through Sarah the promise shall come. Abraham believes Him. The promise goes unfulfilled. Then in Genesis 21:1-7 Sarah finally gets pregnant. Sarah, old and beyond childbearing age, is pregnant and gives birth to her son Isaac.

Wow, that took a long time to fulfill but wait.

In Genesis 22 God tells Abraham to take the child Isaac, the promised heir, and sacrifice him to the Lord. Abraham does what God asks and then God later sends an angel to save Isaac. Now it is against all hope that Abraham believed and so my question to you is: In what did Abraham hope?

The answer: Abraham hoped in God and that God alone could fulfill the promise. Abraham left home and family, he settled into a land he did not know, he traveled where God sent him. He heard God say over and over that He would make him a father of many, and even against all the odds that were stacked up tightly against him, Abraham chose to believe, to hope in God. Then when God answers that prayer and says now give that promise back to me, Abraham does. He can only do that because he knows God can fulfill that promise again, because his hope was not in the child but in God.

Whatever it is that you are fasting and praying for, it is not that in which you will find your hope. Your hope is in the Lord, the One to whom you are fasting and praying. Put your hope there and it shall be counted as righteousness for you just as it was for Abraham. Let us pray:

Lord God, You call us to put our hope not in the situation we are in, but in You, God, our Father. So help us to do that, Father, as we begin our journey of fasting and praying. This we pray in Jesus’ Name.

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