Lenten: 40 days of Grace 2016
Sunday Worship 9:45am - Wednesday Bible Study 7:00pm
Phone 727-230-9723 - 9398 Oakhurst Road, Seminole, FL 33776

Lenten: 40 days of Grace 2016

If We Believe 2-25-16

Quest for Hope

If We Believe 2-25-16 

Romans 4:18-25

 

Yesterday in our quest for hope, we looked at the true Gift from God called salvation.  Today, we will continue with the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans when he used father Abraham as an example of growing hope and faith.  This faith Abraham extends to believe God’s promise counts him righteous with God.  Here’s the believer’s story:

 

Romans 4:18-25 (NLT)

18 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!”[a] 19 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.

20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

 

Abraham is over-the-hill; about 100 years old and God has promised him a biological son.  His wife, Sarah, is no spring chicken; menopause has become her constant companion.  In the midst of all this reality, God promises that these two will produce an heir that will lead to descendants as numerous as the stars.  This hope requires Abraham and Sarah to believe God with great and growing faith. 

 

We all put faith in something.  When we turn to sit in a chair, we are extending some form of faith that the chair will indeed hold and support us.  Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it give us assurance about things we cannot see.”  Even though we can place our faith in all kinds of things it is actually misplaced.  Like Abraham, our hope must be secure in our confidence (faith) that what God promises He will do; He never lies.  When we get that truth deeply planted in our souls (mind/will/emotions), we will hang onto hope and extend our faith even when it seems absolutely ridiculous.  Believing and taking God at His Word requires a quest for hope and growing faith.  When we believe in the goodness of God for salvation (Christ/cross) and obey His Word to our individual hearts, God counts us righteous and brings power to the promise. If we will believe…

 

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for pushing my hope and faith beyond my comfort zone.  I would never be able to believe and receive more and more of your goodness to manifest in my life without the work of your powerful and instigating Spirit. I am looking with great hope for your work in my faith-life, today.  In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

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