"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 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. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
—Romans 4:18-22 NIV
Quite often, we think of the role models whose stories we read in the Bible as a special bunch who had some unique characteristics. Indeed, they were special because they had the privilege of relating to God. But their lives, hopes and expectations were not significantly different from ours. They longed for the same things we desire, even though in a different era. They sought and believed God's promises in the hope that their lives here on earth and beyond would be better.
Like them, many of us have received promises from God about our lives. Some of those promises have already been fulfilled, but some are yet to manifest. Some seem unlikely because of our present circumstances; consequently, when we read scriptures like Romans 4:18-22 (above), we wish we had Abraham's kind of faith. We long to be as confident as he was about God’s promises and wonder how he could endure the long wait prior to seeing the promise of a son fulfilled.
I tell you, such faith only comes as we draw closer to God. When we become more intimate with Him, we learn about His nature from "an insider's point of view." Seeing His attributes more closely and witnessing His amazing works in people’s lives and in the world around us gives us confidence to trust Him more.
As we draw closer to Him, we also receive the ongoing supply of comfort and encouragement that He gives to those who wait for Him; such words stir up faith in our hearts just as the Scriptures say—“faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ” (Romans 10:17 NLT). They strengthen us and give us courage to press on to our destination where we receive the fulfillment of His promises just like Abraham did.
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