Hope against hope

Last updated on December 24, 2021

What does the Bible teach about hope?

In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, ‘So shall your offspring be.’”
(Romans 4:18)

Abraham is a good example of a believer whose hope was based on faith. God had promised to make him into a great nation (see Genesis 12:2). By then, Abraham was already 75 years old. But as the years passed by, nothing happened. Abraham and his wife Sarai remained childless.

Understandably, Abraham wondered: “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? … Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir” (Genesis 15:2-3). But God told him to look towards heaven and number the stars. “So shall your offspring be”, God assured him. Abraham believed the Lord (Genesis 15:6). His faith was “against hope”.

It was very unlikely that a childless woman who had been married for decades would suddenly get pregnant when she was past childbearing age. But Abraham believed God’s promise and therefore did not give up hope. When he was hundred years old, his son Isaac was born. God kept His word.

Is there a promise of God that you find particularly hard to believe?

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