Hope against Hope
In hope he believed against hope… This is how the Apostle Paul describes Abraham’s faith in Romans 4. In hope he believed against hope. The phrase has been with me a lot these last few days. As I think about what the future holds for our family. If you haven’t heard, you should go read Taryn’s blog. However, we will be adding another young one to our family; this time a girl. We are pretty excited. However, there is that moment when you realize that what you have been praying for is becoming a reality. It can be overwhelming.
Yet, in faith we hoped and prayed for this. Now we look forward in that same hope and faith. We know that there is provision for what lies ahead. In Jeremiah 9 the prophet is correcting Judah for trusting in their wealth, wisdom, and kings. They put their hope and security in what the world tells us will give us hope and security. It is really easy to do that. It is really easy to look around and find those areas where God needs our hand to help out. Believing that we can help God out a bit, we strive in our own strength.
The funny thing is, God shows up where we least expect him. Abraham was old and Sarah was barren. God comes into the world, and we would expect to see him among the philosophers and the elites of the world. However, what we find is God in flesh and in the end nailed to a cross. God meets us at the very symbol of weakness and shame. We meet the God-Man at the cross. This is the Gospel that we preach.
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. – 1 Cor 2:1-5
The last years have been a journey of faith. We have hoped against hope. Every step of the way has seemed to be a step of faith. Today I look at the amount I need to get done before we bring this little girl home, and I am tempted to do it all in my strength. I am tempted to believe that I have enough in and of myself to get all this done. Yet, this is not what the Gospel teaches us. The Gospel beckons us to trust God for all provision. When we do this, God meets us in the most unexpected of places.
So today I look at the future. Everything seems a little overwhelming and insurmountable. We have grants to write, school to pay for, a thesis to finish, a bunch of money to raise… oh and don’t forget a Calvin to provide for. Honestly, we can’t do this. Yet, this is exactly where the Lord works. When we look out at what is ahead and despair. This is where Christ shows up. In the midst of our weakness, he meets us and teaches us that his grace in sufficient even for this. So like Abraham, I will in hope believe against hope that the Lord will once again bring us through this chapter.