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I Have Hope

Posted by Mike Mccauley
Mike Mccauley
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on Sunday, 19 May 2013
in Pastors' Corner
KingdomView, Vol IV, Issue 14
Scripture: Romans 4:14-25 

IN 1965, NAVAL AVIATOR JAMES B. STOCKDALE BECAME ONE OF THE FIRST AMERICAN pilots to be shot down during the Vietnam War. As a prisoner of the Vietcong, he spent seven years as a P.O.W., during which he was frequently tortured in an attempt to break him and get him to denounce the U.S. involvement in the

war. He was chained for days at a time with his hands above his head so that he could not even swat the mosquitoes. Today, he still cannot bend his left knee and walks with a severe limp from having his legs broken by his captors and never reset. One of the worst things done to him was that he was held in isolation away from the other American P.O.W.s and allowed to see only his guards and interrogators.

How could anyone survive seven years of such treatment? As he looks back on that time, Stockdale says that it was his hope that kept him alive. Hope of one day going home, that each day could be the day of his release. Without hope, he knew that he would die in hopelessness, as others had done.

Such is the power of hope that it can keep one alive when nothing else can.

Likewise, as children of God, we endure the trials and challenges of life in hope. For the hymnist has penned for, "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness." In our lesson today, Abraham exemplifies what it means to stand firm in hope. In Genesis 12:1-3, God calls and makes a profound set of promises to Abraham. One of those promises involved making Abraham a great nation. For this promise to become a reality Abraham and Sarah, his wife must have children, but Sarah is barren. (Genesis 15:2-3) However, God spoke clearly to Abraham and assured him that he would have an heir (15:4). The stage is set for one of the greatest miracles in Scripture in which the Apostle Paul would testify to Abraham’s faith. (Romans 4)

Abraham was seventy-five years old when God spoke to him. (Genesis 12:4) Some twenty-five years would elapse before Abraham and Sarah would have a child, Isaac. (Genesis 21:5) The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 4:17-20 that Abraham and Sarah were well beyond their childbearing years and that they were physically challenged in the area of enjoying sexual intimacy. Nevertheless, Paul says that Abraham believed in Him ". . . who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. In hope against hope he believed, in order that he might become the father of many nations." You see, God spoke life back into Abraham and Sarah’s bodies. Abraham at 100 years of age and Sarah 90 would engage in sexual intimacy and produce Isaac. Likewise, God can speak life back into those lifeless situations that we face. For example, lifeless marriages would have to live, wayward children would have to line-up, and financial challenges would have to become subject. Why? Because when God speaks, creation must submit. Therefore, keep your hope alive!

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