Against all Hope
I totally get the anxiety and frustration that Abraham and Sarah may have been feeling. They’d been promised a child, but then, as it does, age crept upon them from no where and low and behold they found themselves past the fruit bearing years.
Sarah was 90 for cryin’ out loud and Abraham 100. It was a dark day in the land of Canaan when Abraham continued to believe in the promise that God had given him. With the point being, he never gave up hoping.
That’s our problem. We lose hope.
Romans 4:18 says of Abraham:
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
There’s nothing like age to make you feel unfruitful. With every passing year new aches and pains are introduced and your children start “calling to check on you,” or asking you if you think you’ll “feel up to it.” Good grief! It’s not that I’m not very grateful that I raised such concerned children, it’s just that I didn’t think I was that old. And then I look in the mirror and the age lines that I used to consider laugh lines aren’t so funny anymore.
Welcome to the silver years Shari. I’m not yet to the golden years, although they’re drawing nigh.
If I trusted what the mirror says or what my lying bones say, I’d take off my Jesus Chick hat and consider sitting back and waiting for Jesus to come and fetch me. Those are physical things against the spiritual realm of hope. And they are not the only things “against hope.”
Logic is often the enemy of hope. If Abraham had looked at it logically, he wouldn’t have even put out the candles and turned the radio onto soft music at 100. What chance did he have at conception with 90 year old Sarah.
This story gives me hope! See, I’m still waiting for some fruit… not of the Isaac persuasion, but of the spiritual kind. I’m waiting for God to do a great work in my ministry that will bear fruit for the Kingdom. I’ve waited a while! But I’m not 100 yet.
Just as Abraham I’m believing in hope. Wouldn’t it be a sad world with out it. Truth be told, it is a sad world. I’ve listened to many speak without hope. It is generally the unsaved, but not always. None of us are immune to losing hope. This world is filled with adversarial demons to strip even the strongest of a good attitude.
Today I have hope, because today I’ve been in the word and I’ve read myself happy. But a few days ago, as I traveled down the highway, I looked in my rear view mirror and all I saw was lost opportunities, failed attempts and I was in the previous state.
I should have told myself, “don’t look back.”
And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
If a ploughman doesn’t look forward, he won’t make the proper furrows, nor do his work well. The same is true of the child of God. If we are continually looking back to see where we’ve been, we might assuredly miss where we’re going. We need to be forward thinking Christians. Always looking for opportunity, not resting in the laurels of previous ones, or sulking in the disaster of errors.
I can find myself sulking if I’m not careful.
Sarah delivered that bundle of hope and named him Isaac, meaning laughter. There is great joy when hope is delivered.
What does that look like to you?
I know what it looks like to me. It’s a strange delivery I’m waiting on…
- That souls are saved and lives are changed.
- That my ministry be viewed as a ministry, not a hobby by those who should know better.
- That it is financially sustaining for my family.
That may or may not sound like much to you. But there are days when I look back at the furrows I’ve made, and my fruit is sparse. I lose sight of where I know I’m supposed to go.
Just like the farmer who’s responsibility it is the take care of the land, it’s ours to take responsibility for this land. Starting at home and working our way out.
I can’t help but think about J. Vernon McGee:
Following cancer surgery in 1965 at the age of 61, the doctors gave Dr. McGee six months to live. The Lord gave him 23 more years.
In 1967 he launched the radio program “Thru the Bible” which took 5 years. At its completion the program tapes continued to run, and Dr. McGee and his board determined that the program would run until the money ran out. Through generous contributors it’s still running today.
Dr. McGee died in 1988, falling asleep in his chair and waking in the presence of Jesus. At the time of his death the bible program aired in 34 languages, but has since been translated into over 100 and is broadcast on Trans World Radio throughout the world every weekday.
At the age of 63 Dr. McGee continued ploughing and didn’t look back. He was a successful man of God, but I love that what he deemed as his greatest compliment came at the beginning his ministry.
His greatest compliment
As a student pastor, Dr. McGee’s first church sat on a red clay hill in Midway, Georgia. It was there he said he received his greatest compliment: “It was from a country boy wearing high buttoned, yellow shoes. After a morning service he came to speak to me. He groped for words, then blurted out, ‘I never knew Jesus was so wonderful!’ He started to say more but choked up and hurried out of the church. As I watched him stride across the field, I prayed, ‘Oh, God, help me to always preach so that it can be said, I never knew Jesus was so wonderful.’“
Would to God that it could be said about me and the Jesus Chick Ministry. I want the world to know how very wonderful Jesus is.
But that will never come to pass if you and I put the ploughs in the barn and fail to work the fields.
We have a Hope. His name is Jesus. And we need to tell everyone we meet.