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. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn't just for Abraham's benefit. It was recorded 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. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Romans 4: 18-23, 5:5
We know that God answers prayers.
We've seen the evidence in our own lives and in the lives of others.
But when we are in the midst of waiting, it's easy to lose hope. Or forget those answered prayers. Or worse, to begin to believe that hope is lost and our prayers will never be answered.
The wonderful reminder in today's reading from St. Paul's message to the Romans is that even when Abraham faced seeming insurmountable evidence that God's promise of a child could not be fulfilled, Abraham 'never wavered in believing God's promise'....what makes that statement really profound is that Abraham didn't wait a couple months for God's answer. Abraham waited many, many years.
So when we feel like our answer is never going to come...rather than become discouraged, let's keep pressing forward in faith and love and with the knowledge that God is working everything out for our good.
Let's lay our unanswered prayers at the feet of Jesus and invoke the faith of Abraham. Let's claim the same promise, that we will 'never waver in believing God's promise' because 'we know how dearly God loves us'.
What are you holding in hope today?