Saturday, May 02, 2015


The quote above is taken from Romans 4:18 which describes the faith of Abraham.  I think the statement is confusing as if hope cancels out hope.  Surely this isn't God's intention.  The entire text of this chapter is to reveal faith's depth as well as range.

Consider verse :17 first.  It speaks of Abraham and Sarah who are far too old (the age of great-grandparents) to have a child; yet they are believing God; specifically that God can give life to the dead (their aged bodies too old to reproduce) and call into being things that don't yet exist (their son, Isaac).

Belief targets these two zones which would ordinarily stifle hope.

Verse 18's hope against hope is not pitting one hope against another hope.  No, this references both the facts and the emotions of death and nothingness (no hope).  When death hits, it seems that life would be obviously over.  When something doesn't exist, then why would one believe it could become?

It is on this faith foundation of death and non-existence that hope would seem to surely fade.  Yet, it is at this very point that hope actually makes a renewed surge.  Hope of possibility cancels the hope that nearly withered in disappointment.  There is, among and for believers, to be a new refreshing vision of possibility.

This is surely one of the most powerful and influential truths of all of the Bible and all of the world.  Death isn't boss and just because something isn't doesn't mean it can't come about.

This is what I so love about faith in God.  The deck can be stacked against and yet the resurrected Jesus (once DEAD) ruins the opponents tactics.  When things have a feel of hopelessness there is constant viable reason to believe there is uncanny hope.

Believers in God aren't people who are trying to be more saintly than the next.  No, we are a group who don't buy the fact that the grave is the end.  We don't even believe that bad news is empty of potential for encouragement.

Faith is not a step in a Bible class.  It is the Divine-within-the-human push-back against hopelessness.  We can't figure how: just as how aged Abraham and Sarah could have a child or how dead Jesus could come back to life.

We can't figure the how.  We can only believe the Who.  Christianity is to take ordinary life to another level; the plateau of finding renewed energy when matters seem to grind us down.  Belief isn't a standard of right rules.  It is daring courage to move into conflict and discouragement with valiant heart.

Hope....because Abraham and Sarah did have that baby boy and because Jesus broke the bonds of the tomb....there is always hope.

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