WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 18, 2023
TOPIC: KEEP HOPING IN THE PROMISES OF GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, ‘That’s how many descendants you will have!’” (Romans 4:18 New Living Translation).
The hymn entitled “Standing on the promises of Christ my King” is very powerful. All five stanzas emphasize standing on the promises of God. The first line of stanza one says, “Standing on the promises of Christ my King” while the first line of stanza two says, “Standing on the promises that cannot fail.”
In stanza three, the first line says, “Standing on the promises I now can see” while the first line in stanza four says, “Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord.” The first line of the last stanza says, “Standing on the promises I shall not fall.” The last line of all the stanzas ends with “Standing on the promises of God.”
The refrain or chorus for each of the stanzas says:
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
I’m standing on the promises of God.
When there is no physical evidence or there is contrary evidence, every child of God should stand on the promises of God. But not everyone does this because it is not easy to do. It is easier to stand on the promises of God when you have physical evidence to hold on to. However, we must not walk by sight but by faith. We have superior evidence already and that is the promises of God. The Word of God is superior to any physical evidence or contrary evidence.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation puts it this way: “For we live by believing and not by seeing” The world says, “Seeing is believing” but the Word of God “Believing is seeing.” Jesus said to Martha, the sister of Lazarus who was dead four days and had been buried, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40 New King James Version).
We must not cast away or disbelieve the promises of God because there is nothing that convinces us they will come to pass or because we have waited for their fulfilment for long, they can no longer come to pass. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (New King James Version). The Easy-to-Read Version says it like this: “The yes to all of God’s promises is in Christ. And that is why we say ‘Amen’ through Christ to the glory of God.”
When we are faced with contrary evidence or no physical evidence that the promises of God will be fulfilled, we must remember the person who made the promise. We must not forget that He cannot lie, as human beings do. “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19 New King James Version).
God didn’t make His promises under duress and does not lack the resources to fulfil them. When you have the promises of God and you are facing a seemingly hopeless situation, refuse to think hopelessly; refrain from throwing away the promises of God. Rather hope against hope. Keep hoping in the promises of God even when the situation appears hopeless. That was what Abraham did. He was in a hopeless situation despite having the promises of God that He would become the father of many nations.
Romans 4:18 says that contrary to hope, Abraham in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what God had spoken about his descendants being many. The New Living Translation presents the scripture this way: “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, ‘That’s how many descendants you will have!’” Note the phrase “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping.” When there was no reason for Abraham to be fulfilled, he remained hopeful in the Word of God believing that he would become the father of many nations as God had promised him.
The Bible records God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 15:5: “Then He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be’” (New King James Version).
In Genesis 17, God reiterated his promise of fruitfulness to Abraham but he laughed because since the promise was first made nothing had happened. Abraham and his wife, Sarai, were old. “Then God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.’ Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’”(Genesis 17:15-18 New King James Version).
One could say that the situation of Abraham and Sarah had moved from lack of physical evidence to contrary evidence, as they had become too old to have a child! But God’s promises cannot be invalidated by lack of evidence or contrary evidence. The Word of God is enough evidence. You must keep hoping in the promises of God.
Just like her husband did, Sarah also laughed on another occasion about God’s promise to her to have a child: “And He said, ‘I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.’ (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, ‘After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?’ And the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.’ But Sarah denied it, saying, ‘I did not laugh,’ for she was afraid. And He said, ‘No, but you did laugh!’” (Genesis 18:10-15 New King James Version).
Despite the contrary evidence, God fulfilled His promise to Abraham and Sarah. They had a child, Isaac, not Ishmael that they produced by human arrangement. “And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him — whom Sarah bore to him — Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, ‘God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.’ She also said, ‘Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age’” (Genesis 21:1-7 New King James Version).
Keep hoping in the promises of God, as Abraham did. Although he laughed at the promise of God, his heart kept hoping in it. “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 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” (Romans 4:19-22 New King James Version).
Hope in the promises of God even when there is no reason to hope. The Word of God or His promises are enough reason to keep hoping. Abraham kept hoping in the promise of God. The New International Version says, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed” (Romans 4:18a). Weymouth New Testament says, “Under utterly hopeless circumstances he hopefully believed” while the Christian Standard Bible, “He believed, hoping against hope.” Also, the Good News Translation says, “Abraham believed and hoped, even when there was no reason for hoping” while GOD’S WORD Translation says, “When there was nothing left to hope for, Abraham still hoped and believed.”
Naomi lost all hope but she finally had a son through the marriage of Ruth, her daughter-in-law to Boaz, the kinsman of her deceased husband, Elimelech (Ruth 4:13-17). God’s ways are not always our ways.
In Ezekiel 37:11, Israel said her hope had perished but God said He would open their graves, cause them to come up from their graves, and bring them into the land of Israel (verses 12-14). God promised to bring captives back to their land (Amos 9:14-15; Jeremiah 30:18-22). He fulfilled this promise. When God brought back the captives to Zion, they were like men who dreamed (Psalm 126:1).
Keep hoping in the promises of God. In Mark 5:35-43, those who brought the report of the death of the sick daughter of Jairus to him while he went to ask Jesus to come to heal her had lost all hope. But Jesus went with Jairus to his house and brought her back to life.
In Acts 27:20, Paul and all those on the ship with him lost all hope of being saved from the violent storm on the sea but God saved Paul and the 275 people on board the ship as he had promised Paul. The ship was damaged but everyone escaped safely to shore.
Whatever the promises of God you’re standing on, keep hoping in them. Against all hope, keep hoping in the promises of God. Keep hoping even when there is no reason to hope. The promises of God are enough reason to keep hoping. Keep hoping in the promises of God. His promises cannot fail. Your hope will not be disappointed in Jesus’ name.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to keep hoping in the promises of God. I shall not cast away the promises of God because of the lack of physical evidence or because of contrary evidence. Father, let Your promises come to pass in my life.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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