17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and called those things which be not as though they were. (18) Who against hope believed in hope, that he might be thee father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. (19) And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: (20) He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but he was strong in faith giving glory to God; (21) And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. (Romans 4:17-21 KJV)
This is my favorite verses in the bible. It is the biggest reminder to me of the characteristic of God. Abraham is an ensample to us of what our faith should look like, Let’s take a look at verse 18 for a moment 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. Why would the scripture say that Abraham believed in hope against hope? Well, let’s take a look at Abraham’s life. God first appeared to Abraham who was Abram at the time in Genesis 12:1-3 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: (2) and I will make thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing. (3) and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. This is where Abraham first received the call to leave his father’s house that where God was taken him is where he was going to bless him. At this time Abraham was 75 years old when God promised to make him a great nation. Remember when I mentioned early that this reveal a characteristic of God, here’s what I learned about God, when God gives you a promise, he gives it at time when you are barren. When he promised to make Abraham a great nation he was still under his father’s Terah household. God will give us a promise when we have nothing and honestly when it really looks impossible. Think about it Abraham at the time was still under his father’s roof following his father’s rule. Naturally speaking it seemed improbable that he himself would come a great nation. In Genesis 17 God appeared again to Abraham. (1) And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. (2) And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. (3) And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him saying, (4) As for me behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. (Genesis 17:1-4) Now from Genesis 12 to 17 twenty four years had passed, but God had not forgotten his promise. In fact it’s in the next verse that God changes Abraham’s name from Abram to Abraham, and it was in the next year that Isaac was born.
Twenty five years is a long time to wait for a promise. Most of us probably would have given up. I can honestly say that there were times when I wanted to, but Romans 4 it reminds me to believe in the promises of God when it does not look like it will ever come to pass. Abraham is a model for us because in verse 19 of Romans 4 it mentions that he did not look at the fact that his own body was dead, neither did he look at the deadness of Sarah’s womb, but instead he chose to believe God. This tell me that we can’t look at our circumstances not when God has already promised us. One thing I learned is that faith and reality rarely lines up, and its in those times we can choose to believe what we see or we can choose to believe God.
Abraham chose to believe God, in spite of the fact that everything around him was telling him that it was hopeless. What will you believe will you believe your circumstance or will you believe your God.