What Abraham Teaches Us About Hope is part 2 of a 2 part blog. You can find part 1, What Job Teaches Us About Hope And Times Of Suffering, here. We pick up right where we left off!
Job intimately ties us to the New Testament, because all of his questions and problems are answered perfectly in Jesus Christ. Our faithful Defender. Our living hope.
We can stop believing the lie that God will never let His people suffer, by looking at Jesus, and embracing the truth that there is hope, even when our circumstances try to convince us there isn’t. And this hope doesn’t disappoint or put us to shame. We have a God who doesn’t run out on us, when our blessings wear thin… We have Jesus, His promised Son, who can empathize with our weakness.
What can we have genuine hope for?
Jesus was tempted, just as we are—yet he did not sin. So even though we are unworthy, we can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence and without fear, so that we may find grace in our time of need.
But, what exactly should we have hope for? And how do we get from longing for this hope, to deeply knowing and having confidence in what we hope for?
- We can have hope, confident assurance, that our help comes from the Lord.
- That when we call, He will answer.
- That He goes before you, and will never leave you.
- That He loves you so much that He sent His only son, so that if you believe in Him, you will not perish but have eternal life.
- That one day He will wipe away every tear from your eye, and there will be no more pain or sorrow.
- That He is preparing a place for us, and that one day Jesus will come again, as promised.
This is the hope that will not disappoint or put us to shame.
Romans 15: 4 says, For everything that was written in the past, was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures, and the encouragement they provide, we might have hope.
This means what scripture says about what Job experienced can help us have hope and encouragement.
This also means that hope is a natural response to being in the Word. Troubling circumstances are going to be harder if we are not rooted in Christ, because other things will take root. Fear, doubt, insecurities… false hopes and promises that disappoint.
God’s word is an encouragement to us and reveals who God really is. It teaches us about the hope that doesn’t disappoint, and what it means that God really is working all things for His glory and our good… And, sometimes “our good” means a time of testing so that our faith is proven or strengthened…
As I have sought to know Him, His love has been almost tangibly. His love, that is promised and kept. Made and fulfilled. Unshakeable. True. Fixed in heaven. Sacrificial. Loyal. Devoted. Kind. Gentle, yet strong.
I am often amazed. Because we are unworthy, and don’t deserve it do we? His goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and love. Yet He has been so willing to pour it out for us. Grace. Undeserved kindness.
My prayer is that you to walk in faith, because you know the immensity of His love for you. To never wonder if there is hope for you, but be confident in what you hope for, because you have the unshakeable assurance that the One who promised is faithful. And to be ROOTED in Christ, so that hope can arise in your life.
What does Abraham teach us about hope?
I want to end by looking at Abraham who is described as one who “hoped against hope”, as every aspect of his life seemed to go against God’s promise. God had promised him a son. But as time went on, it became less and less possible, from a human perspective, for this promise to come to pass.
But what does it mean to hope against hope?… For me, sometimes I hope against fear, insecurity, and doubt, and the wonder if hope will disappoint.
But when you hope against hope, it doesn’t matter what your circumstances are… you keep walking in faith, believing that every word God says is true.
When we hope against hope we will look back and say “I knew You would work it all out… I believed you”.
We have to have an unshakeable assurance that He really does work everything together for His glory, and our good, even if we can’t see it. That is hope.
Abraham’s obedience wasn’t perfect, and neither will ours be, but Abraham’s life shows a growing assurance of who God is. As his body aged, his faith didn’t weaken, and he didn’t waver in unbelief. He knew God had power to do what He had promised… and we see this as God tests Abraham, years after Isaac, his promised son, was born. God, asks Abraham to take Isaac, who he loves, and sacrifice him as a burnt offering.
Abraham heads off with Isaac to the place God would show him, and Isaac asks him where the lamb was for the burnt offering. Abraham assured his son that God himself would provide a lamb. What is promised by God, is going to be fulfilled by God.
God, Himself will provide.
So here is Abraham preparing the altar with the wood that Isaac had carried on his back. He is about to slaughter his bound son when an angel of the Lord comes and stops him. Abraham looks over and sees a ram caught in the thicket by his horns.
Not a lamb as Abraham had expected. But a ram. A strong adult grown up lamb…known for protecting its herd. Abraham received a bit differently than expected, but more than he expected, and he walked down the hill with Isaac and named the place “the Lord will provide”.
He is the God who provides. And He is also the God who will see to it that His promises are fulfilled. In more ways than we could ask or imagine.
Years later another promised Son, would carry a wooden cross on His back. This time, it wasn’t a test. There was no ram in the thicket. And Jesus wouldn’t display His power to take Himself off the cross. The Son wouldn’t be spared, but given up for us so we can be rescued from our sin.That is how much God loves us. He sent Jesus, to be the ultimate sacrificial lamb who would overcome death, and the grave, so we might have this hope that doesn’t disappoint.