By Maggie Cooper, Crosswalk.com
“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.” Romans 4:18-22 NLT
Life holds so many hard things doesn’t it, y’all? The weight of our own circumstances plus those of our friends, family, and the world in general can feel so heavy that it just makes you want to crawl in bed and pull the covers over your head some days, doesn’t it? I know I’ve felt that way at times. Broken relationships, declining health, financial woes, or everyday fears and trials-whatever your story may be right now, odds are that something in this list is affecting you or someone you love. The Lord may have put something on your heart or given you direction, and yet you are left in the waiting. You may have prayed and been praying for a breakthrough, for healing, for provision, or for guidance on the next right step…and may not be receiving the answers you are hoping for. Abraham knew something about that.
When he was around 75 years old, the Lord told him that he would have offspring as numerous as the stars in the sky, even though he and Sarah had no children. And Abraham believed Him. But it didn’t just happen, y’all.
Five years went by, then ten, then twenty, and a lot happened in that time that could make him give up hope. Many trials, tears, and lots of questioning, I would guess. But then year twenty-four came, and at 99 years old, the Lord told Abraham again that He would make him the father of many nations, and that in a year, he would have a son born through his wife Sarah. And Abraham believed Him.
I have to tell you that after waiting for 24 years to see the desire of my heart come to fruition, I don’t know that I would still believe. I don’t know that fear of disappointment wouldn’t win out and cause me to doubt. But Abraham didn’t stop hoping. And a year later, the Lord gave them a son. The Lord was faithful to fulfill his promise to Abraham. And He will be faithful to us too, y’all.
The answers to our prayers may not look exactly like what we had planned. Those relationships may not be restored. Our miracle healing may not be the earthly one we prayed for, but a heavenly one. The provision we seek may come from very unexpected places in unexpected ways. And we may mess up and try to step in along the way and solve things ourselves as Abraham and Sarah did at times. But if we keep hoping, based not on what we see with our eyes, but on the faithfulness of the Lord in our past–the ways he has sustained us over and over, we will see the Lord be faithful again. And we will have a new part of our story to tell about the goodness of God.
I believe that as a follower of Christ, one of the greatest gifts we can give to those around us is our story of hope. Most of all, when it seems there is no reason to keep hoping. So, I invite you to put your name and your story in these blanks, following Abraham’s example. Post this somewhere that you can read and remember and keep hoping on the hard days–believing that the Lord has a plan for you, your life, and those you love, even in the midst of uncertainty, disappointment, and confusion. The Lord never left Abraham, and He won’t leave you either.
Even when there was no reason for hope, ___________ kept hoping—believing that___________________. For God had said to him/her, ______________________________. And __________’s faith did not weaken, even though, ______________________________. ___________ never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his/her faith grew stronger, and in this, he/she brought glory to God. He/She was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of ________’s faith, God counted him/her as righteous.
I pray that this will be all of our testimony and story one day. Keep hoping, growing your faith, and knowing, without a doubt, that God is able to do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine sweet friends (Eph.3:20).
Thank you for Abraham’s example of hoping when all seemed hopeless. Thank you for your faithfulness to hear our prayers and hold us when life can be so very hard. Help us to keep our eyes on you and things above, not on the earthly circumstances around us (Col.3:2), and help our faith to grow stronger each day as we trust in You.
In Your Mighty Name,
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/AnnaElizabethPhotography
Maggie Meadows Cooper is a wife, mom, educator, author, and blogger with a longing for women to grow a heart for Jesus and others. She is the author of the children’s book “Bumper” and blogs at The Little Moments about what the Lord is teaching her through her children and everyday life. She contributes to Blogs by Christian Women, Devotional Diva, She Disciples, and Connecting Ministries. An educator with an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University (War Eagle!), she has twenty years of experience working with young children. She loves all things chocolate, real Coca-Cola, and lives with her husband, three children, and two rambunctious dogs in Opelika, Alabama.