“Against all odds, when it looked hopeless, Abraham believed the promise and expected God to fulfill it.” Romans 4:18
Another translations of the verse says “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed.” There is a big distinction that we need to understand here. This is worldly hope versus heavenly hope.
Worldly hope looks at a situation and devises plans in human strength to come up with a solution. Worldly hope looks at desperate situations – the bank has sent a foreclosure notice, grandma in the hospital is declining in health, my husband is having another affair. In those desperate times, worldly hope says “certainly there is something that I can do”. Work harder to make enough money to pay off the bank, hassle the doctors to make sure grandma is better taken care of, remind your husband that you are not okay with this and beg and cry for him to change. Human worldly hope is limited. Yes, of course you should do everything in your ability to try to correct something if you are able, but at some point, human hope fails us.
In Abrahams case, human hope failed him. Romans 4:19 says “Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.” He knew that worldly hope was gone. He could not revive his or Sarah’s body’s to be able to have children. And as hard as you try, you probably can not stop the bank from taking your home, shout the life back into your grandma, or cry your way back into your husbands heart. Worldly hope fails us.
But check out the first part of that verse. “Without weakening in his faith.” Abraham realized that he could not fix this, so instead of having faith in the world or his own abilities, as so many of us do, he saw his hopeless situation and recognized Gods hand on it. There is no way in his own abilities, that this man and his wife could have a child. They were at the end of their rope. That is where they made a decision to have heavenly hope. To look at Gods promises on their lives and trust Him.
In my marriage, there is no hope. 8 years of my husbands regular emotional and physical affairs have murdered any chance of a marriage that was there. And 8 years of my crying and cutting him down have sealed the coffin. This covenant is broken, but yet I still know that Gods promise is for restoration of our marriage. That this relationship is dead and gone, but that God plans to do a good work in this mans heart and awaken his soul. And when that happens, my marriage will come back to life. I don’t know all the plans. I don’t know the twists and turns and I don’t know how we are going to get there, but I do know that God does not lie. Every promise He makes, He makes good on. So I am standing in faith that God will do the work He has promised to do.