Never Lose Hope

The views expressed below are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Rejoice Marriage Ministries or the Steinkamps.

Men, has the Lord placed a devotional on your heart that you would like to share with other standers?

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23 

Hope is a virtue. We acquire virtue when we conform our life and behavior to moral and ethical principles. The virtue of hope is a response to the desire for happiness that God has placed in the human heart. Virtue inspires us to act in ways befitting the Kingdom of God. Hope keeps us from discouragement in times of abandonment and opens our hearts to receive blessings. It is hope that enables us to fight against incredible obstacles, acting self-sacrificially, to achieve the happiness that flows from loving another for their good, without counting the personal cost.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.  Titus 3:3-8 

Through obedience to God, we become “heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Ti 3:7). What does obedient hope look like? Abraham is the model of obedient hope. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. In his old age, nearly 25 years after the promise was made, God blessed Abraham with a son, Isaac. When Isaac was in his late teens or early 20s, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. In obedience, Abraham did as the Lord instructed.

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”  Genesis 22:1-8 

Can you imagine the thoughts running through Abraham’s mind? Perhaps it was something like this…

“Lord, I am an old man and Isaac is the son you promised me. If you want me to take his life, then the only logical explanation is that you are planning to bring him back to life. I will do as you say, trusting that you will keep your promise to me.”

As Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, an angel of the Lord stopped him. God saw that Abraham believed and trusted God totally. Notice in the scripture reference to this event, Isaac questioned his father about who would provide the sacrifice. Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son” (Gen 22:8). The sacrifice of Isaac is an image of what God would ultimately do for mankind in sacrificing His Son, Jesus for the salvation of the world. The hope of Abraham is exactly what God did; He brought Jesus back to life after having Him die for our sins.

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  Romans 4:18 

The obedient hope of Abraham set a series of events into motion that would ultimately lead to the salvation of the world. Could Abraham have foreseen the role he would play in salvation history? God becoming man and dying for the sins of all humanity is beyond imagination. The outcome of your obedient hope in God right now will have far-reaching consequences. Future generations will be affected by your decision to stand for your marriage. Like Abraham, you cannot see the future nor understand how your decision might touch many lives. Like Abraham, trust everything to God. He has a great plan for you. Walk in faith and obedience and leave everything to God.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.  Deuteronomy 7:9 

Never lose hope, my dear Brother. God is with you.

Dennis Wingfield

 

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