Faith Hopes Always
- Date: August 2, 2017
- Teacher: Pastor Star R. Scott
- Scripture: “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.” (Romans 4:18)
- From Faith That Prevails
We go out in faith not knowing where we are going. We obey that mandate and rest. Having ceased from our own labors, we rest and then we begin, the Scripture says here, our sojourn. Faith is a walk. The faith that God wants to build in our lives is not just a momentary miracle. God wants us to begin to sojourn in trusting Him in every area of our lives. We don't know where we are going but we know that we're leaving natural security, we're leaving our hometown. We're leaving all that we've known and trusted in, and we go looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. The life of Abraham goes on, the Holy Spirit here switches over to Sarah but it's given us the whole story. It's given us the faith that was necessary to go out and appropriate the land that was given. And then, of course, the promise for the lineage of Messiah, of which Abraham and Sarah were called. As we are looking at father Abraham, turn over to Romans for just a moment. Hebrews talks to us about the faith of Abraham and his obedience to leave the homeland and to follow not knowing where he was going. Remember that where God was taking him was into a land of enemies. To this day!
Romans speaks to us in Chapter 4 about Abraham, and it says in verse 3, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." It's interesting how Paul takes the natural life of Abraham and is able to use it in illustration of our partaking of justification, our life of sanctification as we're walking out the promises of God. In Abraham, the father of faith, he shows us in the life of Abraham how we're to embrace the free gift of God's grace and faith that allows justification to fulfill itself in our lives, to reconcile us back to God. "Abraham believed God, and it was [imputed] unto him for righteousness." Look over for just a moment to verse 13. There's the promise that was given "…that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, [he said, it wasn't given] through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." It was pre-law is what he was saying in his argument in Romans. This is all pre-law, don't trust in the law; the law is the schoolmaster. The law was what came to reveal sin in our lives, to challenge us and show us the necessity of the redemptive work of Christ.
He says it was given to Abraham then and to his seed, not by law but through the righteousness of faith. And then he goes back and he speaks a little more about the life of Abraham. And he says that Abraham, verse 18, was trusting for the promise of the Father, a spiritual seed, "Who against hope [verse 18] believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be." Now, we know that hope means favorable expectation. We read the Bible; we hear the voice of God and hope rises in our hearts and we begin to favorably expect these promises to manifest in our lives. And then our hopes can get dashed, can't they? Have you found yourself, after hoping for many years, believing God and then the hope begins to wane and our hope gets dashed, it gets stagnant. We really begin to enter into unbelief. The word unbelief means to be unpersuaded. We're no longer persuaded by the Word of God. We no longer hear the voices of those that are around us that are encouraging us. We're just hopeless. Not necessarily in despair, but there's just no faith there anymore. We'll parrot the promises of God. We'll quote the Scriptures, but there's no rhema, there's no life.
But Abraham hoped against hope. When he no longer had anything in him to hope for the promise, he still had hope in his God. He favorably expected God to do that which He promised. "Lord, it's beyond me. I believe; help my unbelief." "For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). You will find out as this story goes on, we'll understand what hoping against hope is, as we reveal a little bit more of what it was that Abraham was trusting God for. But as he hopes against hope, it says God brought him to this place "…that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, [the rhema, what God had said] So shall thy seed be."