Hope against all hope

Hope is expectation. When we hope for something, it means we want it. When we lose hope, it’s because we’re running out of patience or it means the circumstance are so opposed to what we want, that we get hopeless. For example, when a team falls further and further behind, the prospect of winning gets hopeless.

So what if circumstances build a case for hopeless, but you have a word from God that goes against circumstances? That was the predicament of Abraham and Sarah, who had been promised they would have a child, but did not.

There are two statements that Paul writes in describing this situation: First, “in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.” And second, “In hope he believed against hope” (Romans 4:17b-18a).

God who stands outside time, speaks a word about the future of a man and his wife. This man, Abraham, puts his hope in God’s word, over and against the hopelessness of his situation. He is our example of exercising faith.