In Romans 4, Paul says about Abraham: “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the Father of many nations, as he had been told. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:18, 20-21)
Abraham believed in the hope that God would fulfill his promises despite there being no earthly hope. In his old age and in Sarah’s barrenness, it seemed impossible for him to become the father of many nations, as God had promised. But he believed in the hope of God’s faithfulness against the loss of earthly hope. As he believed that God’s promise would be fulfilled, even when it seemed impossible, he gave glory to God. And as he gave glory to God, his own faith grew stronger.
Spurgeon wrote, “God delivers His servants in ways that exercise their faith. He would not have them lacking in faith, for faith is the wealth of the heavenly life. He desires that the trials of faith continues until faith grows strong and comes to full assurance. The sycamore fig never ripens into sweetness unless it is bruised; the same is true of faith. Tested believer, God will bring you through, but do now expect Him to bring you through in the way that human reason suggests, for that would not develop your faith.” What circumstance seems impossible today? What feels hopeless? Though we don’t necessarily have the promises of an earthly miracle as Abraham did (though God is able), we do have the hope of all the promises of scripture. Today, let’s give glory to God by believing those promises, even when they seem impossible in our eyes. As we do, our own faith will be strengthened.
#hopewhenithurts #hopeagainsthope #hewillbefaithful
We arrived at our destination after two days of driving and upon arrival, my youngest spiked a high fever. Now, to put this in context, I can’t remember a vacation that we haven’t experienced some major disappointments and sickness. It’s become a major anxiety point for me. This year, I kept laying down my expectations and praying for the Lord to help me trust his goodness and personal care for me, even when constant disappointments seem to arise in our life.
I’m tempted to question - “Lord, don’t you see I need a break?” But as I’ve walked through greater and greater trials, both big and small, God has humbled me and taught me to remember that he is God and I am not and I will not always understand his ways. But I can trust his heart. Even now, even in my disappointment, his steadfast love never ceases and his mercies never come to an end.
I’ll be honest, the thought crossed my mind that maybe the Lord will keep us healthy because I’m choosing to trust him this year. Yet, we arrived and my son spiked a fever.
Though I battled a range of emotions, it was an opportunity for me to choose to trust God‘s goodness and purposes, even when they make no sense to my earthly mind. It reminds me of Job’s words in Job 2:10, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In his kindness, my son woke up feeling better enough to enjoy the day with us. Though our health and moments of peace may not last, I’m learning to thank him the good times and thank him that he’s just as trustworthy and good in the hard. #hopewhenithurts #hopewhenithurtsbook
“Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8 “We are told that the Captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering; therefore we who are sinful and who are far from being made perfect must not wonder if we are called to pass through suffering too. Shall the head be crowned with thorns while the other parts of the body enjoy only comfort and ease? Must Christ pass through the seas of His own blood to win the crown while we walk to heaven dry-shod in silver slippers? No; our Master’s experience teaches us that suffering is necessary, and the true born child of God must not, would not, escape it if he could. Find a sweet support in His sympathy; and remember that to suffer is an honorable thing - to suffer for Christ is glory.
The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. Griefs exult us, and troubles lift us up. ‘If we endure, we will also reign with him’ (2 Tim. 2:12).” Spurgeon - Morning and Evening