Hope for the New Year
[Abraham], contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” …He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:18, 20-22 NKJV
It’s a new year. How can we get through the year ahead? We don’t know the future. Perhaps this time will be smooth sailing for us; but maybe a health issue looms, a loved one may die, or a job is either unstable or lost. Will worry consume us? Will we give room for the doubts and fear? It’s easy for me to say God will come through on something, but to later doubt it while waiting for it to happen. But I don’t want the despair of unbelief. You probably don’t either. Will we face this year with hope?
Look at Abraham. He certainly had reason to question the future, and to wonder how God was going to fulfill His promises. Before God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, God had told him, “…all the land which you see I give to you and to your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants could also be numbered.” (Genesis 13:14-17) Years later, Abraham still was childless. To make it more hopeless, he was about 100 years old, his body as good as dead regarding fathering a child. His wife, Sarah, was 90 years old and now past her barren child bearing years. Without even one child together, how were they to become the father and mother of nations?
His wife’s earlier scheme of having his child through her maid servant had resulted in the birth of Ishmael when Abraham was 86 years old. Fourteen years later, God told Abraham that while Ishmael would begin a nation, he was not the child of promise. The LORD’s everlasting covenant would be through Isaac, whom Sarah would deliver a year later. (Genesis 16 & 17)
Abraham in hope believed God, even when all seemed against his hopes of the promises coming true. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. How was he able to praise God? How was Abraham able to believe the impossible would happen?
Abraham was fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised. Abraham had learned over time to believe God. He had seen Him be faithful and trustworthy. Abraham’s belief in God’s promise was accounted to him for righteousness.
Are we truly convinced that the Lord is able to do what He says He will do?
Let’s think back to all of the times God has been faithful and kept His word. Let’s write down what God has done for us and in us. If you journal, a look into past journals will help jog the memory of God’s care for you.
In reviewing what God has done, may we be strengthened in our faith. Let’s not waver in believing the many promises God has made to us, but claim His promises for us with the expectant hope that God will fulfill them. Then, like Abraham, let’s give glory to God.
Dear Lord, thank you for Your care for me. Thank you for the times You have delivered me from situations beyond my endurance, and carried me through times of difficulty. Thank you for the lessons I’ve learned from Your Holy Spirit and Your Word. Help me to remember Your faithfulness when I am overwhelmed so that I may believe without wavering. Strengthen my faith, God. I give You the glory. Amen.
Thank you for joining me and for reading my devotional blogs. Blogs usually post every other Thursday. Past devotionals are available on my website for your convenience. I pray 2022 will be a year of growth in Jesus for you and for me.