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After the World Trade Center came down on September 11, 2001 rescuers spent many hours looking for survivors. In the rescue attempts search dogs, trained to find buried survivors, were brought in. Hour after hour, day after day, the dogs searched but to no avail. The dog handlers after many hours and days of finding no survivors observed that the dogs were showing signs of depression and lack of motivation, almost as if they had lost hope.
Have you ever lost hope? Oxford Dictionary defines despair as “the complete loss or absence of hope.” Maybe you didn’t know where the money was going to come from, or you watched a relationship fall apart, you may have gone through the anguish of watching someone’s health disintegrate, or you were in a dark place and there was nowhere to turn.
We discover in Romans 4:18 that “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed”. God had promised to Abraham multiple times in the book of Genesis that he would bless the world through Abraham’s offspring. How did Abraham find hope against all hope? He first trusted in the promises of God. Hebrews 11:1 says “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.” Abraham trusted in what God had said even though he could not yet see the results. Abraham also faced the facts. Romans 4:19 goes on to say that “without weakening in his faith, he faced the facts that his body was as good as dead”. Abraham and his wife Sarah were really old, and yet Abraham knew that in spite of the circumstances God was able to do what he said he would do, and he did. Twenty five years after God’s first promise to Abraham his son Isaac was born.
Are the clouds of hopelessness looming? In the midst of despair you can find hope by trusting in God. Biblical hope, while facing the facts, allows us to trust in God’s promises when there is no worldly hope.