Hope Against Hope
“who, 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.” Romans 4:18 NKJV
In this verse from Romans, Paul is talking about Abraham. Abraham hoped against hope, which sounds rather odd. How can you against hope? It sounds contradictory, but that means is that Abraham took his hope out of the world and away from the things he could see or perceive in the natural. Then he was able to put his hope in what he could not see – the supernatural promises of God’s faithfulness to those who believe. He hoped in the promises of God against the hope of the world. What a great lesson and example that remains for us today.
Look at the way the verse reads in the Amplified Bible: [For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be. Romans 4:18 Amplified
Hope in the natural was gone. There was no reason to hope in the natural, and in fact human reason suggested it was impossible so there was no reason for hope. We have come to this place at some point in our lives. Perhaps this is where you are at today regarding an issue in your life. Sadly, this is where most people, even in the Body of Christ stall. They see no reason to hope any further because human reason suggests that to believe further would be futile because what they are believing for is impossible in the natural. And that is precisely the point. That is exactly what Abraham did. When you are at a place in the natural where something is futile and impossible, then you might as well take your eyes off of the world. Since in the world it is futile anyway, then determine to take your eyes off of the things in the world. Stop hoping for results in the natural and put your hope in what is not longer tied to the natural. Put your vision on the Word and place your hope in His promises, in the supernatural. This is where hope moves from an expectancy for good (which is its definition), to the substance of faith. Faith makes it a substantial and real thing.
The verse previous to this one says that God calls things that are not (that do not exist), into existence. When we hope in the supernatural believing His Word, that is the beginning of faith. The promises are already done in the spiritual realm and just waiting for us to bring them to the physical realm. Faith and words of faith provide the transportation from there to here. Faith is what gives substance to those things in the spiritual realm. In other words, they become substantial and real here.
J Todd Hostetler