Waiting is hard. Waiting in faith is even harder. Waiting in faith like Abraham does in Romans 4:18-21 is miraculous! And yet, if Abraham trusted the Lord in such a stellar manner, then there’s hope for you and me.
Romans 4:18-21 says this: 18 In hope against hope he [Abraham] believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.” 19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; 20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
What an example Abraham is for us! I taught through these verses last spring for the ladies at Grace Bible Church in Hutchinson, Kansas, yet those verses continue to challenge and encourage me.
What do we learn from Abraham in Romans 4?
- We learn in verse 18 that you can trust God no matter how you feel.
Even when Abraham’s hope grew thin and threadbare, Abraham believed God.
- We learn in verse 19 that you can face the facts about your situation without becoming overwhelmed.
Abraham faced the facts that he was no longer a young man, yet this knowledge didn’t plunge him into despair. Instead, he applied faith to the truth and remembered God’s promises to him.
“Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.”
- We learn in verses 20-21 that you can stand firm upon God’s promises.
It’s amazing to consider that Abraham didn’t waver in his faith as he waited and waited and waited for the Lord to fulfill His promise. Verse 20 says Abraham actually grew stronger in faith the longer he had to wait! He was able to do that simply because he trusted God would keep His promises.
- And finally, we learn in verse 20 that you can give God glory even if nothing changes in your situation.
As Abraham continued to exhibit faith in the Lord, he brought God glory. Oh, the sweetness of that thought! We give God glory when we believe Him, when we trust Him, when we wait for Him to do what He said He would do.
The old Scottish preacher Samuel Rutherford said, “Believe God’s Word and power more than you believe your own feelings and experiences. Your Rock is Christ, and it is not the Rock which ebbs and flows, but your sea.”
God never intended for Abraham to be the only one who exhibited great faith.
May it be said of you, “In hope against hope, she believed, so that she might become an example of faith to all who knew her. Without becoming weak in faith she contemplated her situation, which was bleak and looked pretty miserable according to the facts; yet, with respect to the promises of God, she did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.”