Romans 4:18 Against All Hope, Believe

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.” Romans 4:18

Looking on what is going on in many parts of the world, it is difficult for most people to have hope that things will get better.

Every day people all over the world attempt suicide, wanting to end it all, because they have no hope. Others will fight to hold on to life, hoping things will get better, but without much belief that it will.

The example of Abraham is given of that even against all hope or logic, he believed God and had hope that God would fulfill His promises. Since he believed, he was given many offspring against all hope.

In life there are many times that there does not appear to be any hope of things getting better. A doctor’s diagnosis of death coming, a loss of a job, loss of a loved one, a major injury or more appear to be unsurmountable difficulties.

Along with physical difficulties, there is the difficulty of death itself, being overshadowed by sin in one’s life. No matter how hard one works, he is unable to remove sin from his life, apart from faith.

Jesus has promised to remove all sin and give, those who believe in Him and have repented, eternal life. No one can earn that forgiveness, no matter what they have done. It is only a gift from God that is brought on and accepted by faith.

Every believer must just have hope in and believe the words of God and act upon that belief. Believe that God will bring him through every difficulty, that God will heal, that Jesus will forgive all sins and that God will give him eternal life.

Just as God had promised Abraham many sons, God has promised many things to you. Most of the promises of God appear to be impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Even though the world says that there is no hope, you have a true hope in Jesus. Hold on to and believe the words of God to you. You cannot earn the answers to those promises, but they are a gift of God to you.

At the right time, God will meet every need you have and fulfill every promise He has given you. Just believe.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the promises of God; that you have true hope in God’s promises; that you will believe God’s promises; and that you will see God fulfill His every promise.

Luke 3:8 Don’t Just Repent, Produce Fruit

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. Luke 3:8

Talk is easy to do, but action following the talk is much more difficult and rare. People are quick to talk about big things that they are going to do or who they are, but rarely will follow it up with their actions.

Most often this big talk comes from a position that a person is in or because of a person that one is connected to, nor from personal actions.

John tells the people to produce fruit with their repentance. They were claiming Abraham as their father. He also tells them that God could raise up children from the stones if needed.

Saying that one is sorrow for doing something wrong is an easy thing to do. Following that statement up with action is much more difficult. The follow up action will reveal where the heart truly is.

Without any fruit, repentance does not really mean anything. Many people are quick to repent of sins, but refuse to produce any fruit. They do not do the work of God at building up His kingdom. They do not change their ways of living, striving to be holy as God is holy.

Some ‘believers’ claim they are believers because their parents were, not because they truly are in their hearts. Their actions, or rather lack of actions, reveal where their heart really is.

When a person repents, he must change his ways. There should be fruit in his life of the change in his heart and mind. The fruit of the Spirit must be revealed in every area of his life.

Without the fruit, the believer is false.

As you are willing to repent of your sins, you must be willing to follow it up with action. Live your whole life sold out to God. Do what God has called you to do–to leave a life of sin and be His witness in all of this world.

If no one can see a marked change in your life, then you must question yourself if you really do believe in God and have you really repented.

Do not live just by words, but also by action. Prove your faith by your actions.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will repent before God of all sins; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sins; that you will produce fruit in keeping with your repentance; and that the world will see you truly believe in and follow Jesus.

Galatians 3:9 Do You Rely On Faith?

So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. Galatians 3:9

Everyone has at least some faith in something. Most people have faith in a chair, that when they sit down on it, it will hold them correctly. Very few will test the chair each and every time to determine if it will be safe to sit upon it.

The more someone uses something, the more faith he will have in it. The things someone has never tried before weakens his faith in it. He questions its reliability, until he has tried and proven it.

Paul begins talking to the Galatians about the difference of faith and works. Relying upon faith will cause one to be blessed as Abraham was.

Faith is trusting in something that cannot be directly seen. One can see a chair, but until he sits in it, he cannot know for fact that it will hold him. He has to have trust (faith) that it will hold him. If he puts extra supports on the chair prior to trying it out, he does not have faith in the chair.

Many people claim to have faith in Jesus, but then work hard to gain God’s support. They do many good works to look good to God. They focus on the do and don’t of the law, rather than the relationship and faith in what Jesus did. They immediately condemn themselves when they slip up and sin, rather than trusting Jesus and repenting.

Jesus promised forgiveness of all sins when one would repent. He promised to give the believer life, eternal life, just by believing in Him and obeying Him.

Those who rely upon their faith in Jesus and what He did will be forgiven and saved for eternity. It does not take anything else.

Ask yourself what are you relying upon for your salvation. Are you working hard to gain God’s approval? Or are you trusting in what Jesus did?

Trust in Jesus, have faith in Him and then step out in obedience to what God has said to do. Your faith will save you. Your obedience and works show that you have faith and trust Him.

One way is believing in self and works, while the other is relying on faith in what Jesus did and proving your faith. Are you being blessed as Abraham was?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have faith in what Jesus did and promised; that you will rely upon faith in Jesus; and that you will know the blessings of having faith in Jesus.

Romans 4:18 Believe Against All Hope

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.” Romans 4:18

As people go through life, there are situations that come up that appear to be without any hope of a good report. Doctors give a diagnosis of a sickness that is incurable and death is certain. A loss of a job and home, with no sign of relief in sight.

People will do one of two things when there is no hope, they will give up or they will work harder. While sometimes working harder will help, there are many times that it does no good, death is still certain.

Abraham had no reason to believe that he would be a father of many nations, but he still believed. He had hope against all reasoning or logic.

Believing in something when everything says not to is not an easy thing to do. Man’s reasoning or logic struggles with what appears to be impossible, yet, it is God who works in the realm of the impossible.

People often begin to realize that they are failures and are not pleasing God with their lives. They realize that they have a death sentence upon their head and strive to work to get past it. Yet, all the work in the world will never rescind the death sentence of sin upon a person.

In order to remove that death sentence, one must believe in Jesus. He must have hope, faith, in what appears to be hopeless. Faith is trusting or believing God when one cannot see or understand.

Forgiveness and salvation come by faith, not by doing good things or not doing bad things. What a person does or does not do is a result of being forgiven and saved.

At some point in your life, you had chosen to believe in Jesus. Now you must continue to believe in Him when everything tells you not to. You must trust that He has forgiven you and will save you.

There will be times in your life when everything appears to be fallen apart and that there is no hope. That is where Abraham was, but he still believed God.

Believe God and His word and wait for His salvation to come at the right time. God loves you and will never do wrong to you, but will do good when the time is right.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have faith in God’s word; that you will know the true hope you can have in Jesus; that God will strengthen your walk with Him; and that you will see God work in miraculous ways in your life.

Abraham: Doing Crazy Faith

Bavaria landscape

The LORD had said to Abram, “God from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, who you love–Isaac–and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Genesis 22:2

As we continue to look at what faith is, we must look at Abraham. He is considered the father of faith.

When he comes on to the scene, it shows God coming to him and telling him to leave his land, father and inheritance to go somewhere God would lead him to. Abraham (at this point Abram), listened and obeyed God. He stepped out in faith to follow God’s leading.

Abraham had been raised up in the land of the Chaldeans in Ur. His father was probably and worshipper of a false god or some idol, not a follower of God. He had lived there most of his life. At the age of seventy-five years old, God appears to him and tells him to move away to an unknown area.

Elderly man

Think about this for a moment. There was no internet in those days. Abraham was not able to look up information on where to get housing. He was not able to call ahead and find a new job to transfer to. The new area was probably an area that speaks a different language.

Along with this move, he is leaving his father behind. He was no longer carrying on his father’s occupation or caring for his land. He was, in a sense, turning his back on his family, walking away from them.

Not only was this a new location to move to, but Abraham was not young anymore. He was seventy-five years old. Keep in mind this was after the flood and God had said that man’s days would be limited to about 120 years on this earth. Abraham was well over that half way point.

This was like a mid-life crisis. He had to change homes, countries, jobs, and family after being settled for many years. Yet, he stepped out in faith, trusting God’s word to him. God promised him land and families, though Abraham did not know how this would happen yet, nor the problems that would come about before it was fulfilled.

Boy stepping out

 

First point–Step out in faith.

God has a different path for each and every believer. Some things may be somewhat similar, but they are still different roads. One thing that God wants from everybody is for them to trust Him. That is what faith is.

Although radically changes are not an every day thing, they do occur within the life of a believer, or anyone else. As you walk with God, there will be times God will have you pack up and move out to something new, something you cannot see or really dream of.

Sometimes this can be a physical move from one place to another. Other times it can be a change in lifestyle, giving up something or changing your friends. It could also be a change of careers or work. Whatever the change is, it can be difficult, but it is what God wants you to do.

Usually these types of changes do not always make sense to the normal mind. It appears to be an insane change or a step towards suicide. Yet, God always makes a path towards a greater life.

Since Abraham had obeyed God, he was blessed with a nation from his family line. He was given land. Ultimately, Jesus brought salvation to the world through his lineage. All because of a step of radical faith.

When God calls you to do something, it is for a purpose. It is to make you better, make you His witness and to build His kingdom. So step out in faith to do what He is calling you to do. Trust that He knows what is best for you in this fallen world.

The other thing that Abraham had to face was when God asked him to sacrifice his son. This was the long promised desired son and only son that Abraham was called to sacrifice on an altar. It sounded like an insane thing to do. Why would God call him to sacrifice his promised son? What good could ever come from that? Isn’t God a God of life? Didn’t He command that no one is to kill anyone? Isn’t this going against what He had commanded?

God was not looking for the sacrifice at all. He really does not care about sacrifices. God is looking for obedience. To obey is better than sacrifice, yet God called for a sacrifice.

When God asked him to sacrifice his son, Abraham immediately obeyed. The bible does not say he questioned God or had to pray about it for days/weeks to make a decision to whether he heard God or not. He knew that he had heard God and so he immediately obeyed Him.

Since Abraham had obeyed without any question, God provided an alternative to sacrificing his son. He provided a ram to be sacrificed instead of his son. God knew then that Abraham would obey no matter what God asked of him.

Abraham and Isaac

 

Point two–Obey immediately in faith. 

There are times that God still asks people to do something extremely radical and crazy. Some of those things will even appear to go against what God has previously said to do or not to do. You must know that it is God who is speaking and guiding you.

In order to know it is God speaking, you must be in constant communication with Him. You must know His voice and what He has to say. You must know His character. In order to know these things, you have to stay immersed in the Bible and in prayer.

Every time you open and read some of the Bible, you are finding out something about God. You are learning who He is, how He is and what He does. As you spend time in prayer, communicating with Him, you are learning to hear His voice. Once you know His voice, you will know when He speaks or when it is something false.

As soon as God speaks something, you must step out an act upon it. This is obedience. Obeying God immediately every time. It is not questioning God or doubting self, it is trusting God–faith. It is knowing God and knowing you can trust him.

I doubt that God will call you to physically sacrifice your son, since Jesus became the sacrifice for all. However, He will call you to sacrifice other things in your life that it is not needed. He will also put a test in front of you to see if you will fully obey Him or not. This can be found in sacrificing something that is not bad, but is dear to your heart–your treasured possession.

It is at this point that faith steps in. It is trusting God and having faith in Him that what He is asking you to do is in the best interests of you, others and His kingdom for His glory and honor.

Faith will obey immediately without questioning. It will not to try and find an excuse not to do something, but will find a way to do it.

No Fear

As I close out this talk on faith, using Abraham as an example, learn from Abraham. Learn what it means to step out in faith immediately. Learn what it means to obey immediately in faith. God will not let you down, but will carry you through whatever is ahead of you in this life and the life to come.

Do not fear, but live and act in His love for you. God is there for you and will not forsake you or steer you wrong. Be full of faith as you step out and obey God in every area of your life.