Hope Against All Hope

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Dear refuge of my weary soul, on Thee when sorrows rise;
On thee, when waves of trouble roll, my fainting hope relies.

This week we are going to take another look at hope. The believers hope. Not the hope that leads people to buy lottery or Powerball tickets in the hope that they will get lucky and the money will fix all their problems. The Christian’s hope is that no matter what is happening in the world around us, God is faithful and He will not fail us.

There are various places throughout scripture where we can see that against all hope, God made a way when people put their trust in Him. Just a few of my favourite stories include David defeating Goliath, God parting the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites when they were being chased by the Egyptians, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown into the fire, yet coming out without any burns, or even the smell of smoke.

Probably one of the greatest examples of someone who hung in there, believing in the promise of God, was Abraham. There are two well known passages in the New Testament that describe Abraham’s story of faith, hope, and patience;

Firstly, Hebrews 6: 12-20 describes how Abraham held on to the promise of God that he would have a son and heirs even though his age, and possibly more importantly Sarah’s age and barrenness, put this possibility beyond all natural likelihood of happening. Hebrews was written to a group of Christians who had been through a pretty serious period of persecution and were now facing the very real possibility of another. The author writes to encourage his readers to remain steadfast and trusting in God. The passage concludes with this wonderful message of hope: –

Hebrews 6:19 (NKJV)

19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,  …

The second passage about Abraham is in,

Romans 4:18–21 (NIV)

18 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.”  19 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. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

We see that the testimony of Abraham was that Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed. He held onto his hope no matter what the circumstances no matter how many blunders and miss-steps along the way. When there was no further reason to hope, Abraham held on to the promise of God. Why was that? Because he was fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Abraham’s faith, his hope, and patience in the word of God resulted in the birth of Isaac from whom came the nation of Israel.

How Do We Remain in Hope?

If you take nothing else with you today, I want you to grab hold of the very essence of this message, which is HOPE! How do we get and stay in hope when everything around us seems to be falling apart? Let’s look again at Hebrews 6:19, which says, We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

This verse paints a picture of hope being like an anchor, which I love, because it is generally in the ‘storms’ of life, when it feels like we are being tossed around, and out of control that we need an anchor the most. I like to think of it this way, when we put our anchor of hope down deep in the Lord, and we make the choice to trust Him instead of focusing on the wind and the waves, He will keep us steady and sure all the way through our circumstances. It is only when we get our eyes on the problem and allow the waves to get in our ship that we will start to sink…but hope in God is a powerful force that will keep us anchored no matter what storms come our way!

The good news is, hope is not something that we need to muster up on our own! God loves you so very much and wants to fill you with hope, so he made it very easy…all you have to do is ask! Today, if you feel like you have lost hope, or just want to be reassured of your hope in the Lord, I would invite you to pray this prayer with me!

Prayer for Hope:

Jesus, I thank you for the hope that is only found in you. I thank you for your Word, which fills me with the assurance of your great and precious promises for me. Lord, I pray that today you would fill me with hope and that you would help me to be anchored deeply in you. Help me to keep my eyes on you Father God, instead of the circumstances, and I pray that you would calm my emotions, my anxieties and that you would flood me with your perfect peace as I keep my mind stayed upon you. I trust you, Father. I know that you are working all things together for my good, and you will turn this situation around for your glory. I thank you, Lord, for filling me with hope, until it overflows. In Jesus’ Name, Amen![2]

Gracious God, why would I flee?
Words of life come forth from thee
Grace in hand, Thine only Son,
Lifts my head and bids me come,[1]

[1] The quotes at the top and bottom of this devotional are from; Dear Refuge, Artist: Hope Hymns, Album: Volume II , Accessed 27/04/2020

[2] Portions of this devotional were based on a devotional on, author unknown but awesome.

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