"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." Romans 4:18-21 (NLT)
Abraham had been told by God that he would be the father of many nations and that they would be blessed through him. Problem is, he and his wife were quite old. He was 100 years old, in fact. (Remember, no Viagra back then.) So, that must have seemed completely impossible to Abraham, but he "kept hoping--believing that he would become the father of many nations". Hope is defined as a confident expectation, not a questionable outcome as many use the word today. He was confidently expecting that God would fulfill everything that He had promised. In this, Abraham's faith grew stronger. I don't know about you, but to me that seems counterintuitive. Our normal reaction is the longer something does not happen, the less we believe it will ever happen. Our faith diminishes. However, Abraham took a much different approach. He determined that he was going to take God at His word and "never waver in believing God's promise". Time went by, he was older than dirt, nothing happened. Sarah's faith wavered, but Abraham stood firm. Eventually, everything happened just as God said it would and Abraham is the father of many nations.
This makes me think of my own faith. If I believe that God is so BIG and has done such great things as create the universe, why would I not have complete faith in all that He has said and promised? Why does it matter that something He has promised takes weeks, or months, or even years to be fulfilled? I'm still working on the answers. I wish I could say that my faith was as strong as Abraham's, but it's not. I still have doubts. My hope sometimes disappears. I begin wondering if God was just playing a cruel cosmic joke on me. Then, verses like Rom 4:21 come back to mind -- "[Abraham] was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises." -- and I am challenged to believe, to stand firm, to confidently expect God's fulfillment of ALL His promises.
"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)Blessings all!