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.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 4:18-5:5
In Hope, Abraham Believed
Notice, John 8:56 = “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
Abraham, in hope, believed. In this hope, Abraham believed, and so became the father of many nations (not all nations, just those of which have the same faith and who hope, for just as it was said for him, “so shall your offspring be”).
So as Abe looked forward to God’s promises, as such were fulfilled in Christ, we who belong to Christ through faith have become also Abe’s children. And we can’t boast, since it’s not by works, but by faith (God pursued Abe, not the other way around). But if we do boast, then let it be in the hope of God’s glory, which also comes in our sufferings, for when we suffer, we gain (through faith and hope), perseverance, for:
- We don’t give up, we persevere.
- When we persevere in our suffering, we build character:
- We become humble, stronger and wiser
- We know what to look for (or look out for)
- We know what to expect
- We know now what to do the text time it happens
- It may make us bolder in our mission, or more cautious.
- Our character-building then produces hope:
- We have a reason to look forward to
- We continue in our mission because of our hope for what’s to come, and for how God will be glorified.
And this hope doesn’t put us to shame, “Because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” And as Paul said in Ephesians 1:13, “When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who’s a deposit, guaranteeing our inheritance.” So we’re children of Abraham through faith in Christ, who has sealed us in with His Holy Spirit. And because of this, we too have hope.