Abraham firmly believed God’s promise. Romans 4:18 (NLT) tells us how Abraham had ridiculous hope—”Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations.”
I recently read how Jewish tradition promotes that Sarah actually had no womb:
Sarai was barren, she had no child.
[Why the double phrasing?] To teach that she did not even have a place for offspring – i.e. a womb. (Rashi, citing Talmud – Yevamot 64a)
[This is an interpretation of Genesis 11:30.]
Photo courtesy of Michal Marcol/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
But even when there was no reason to hope — Sarah had been barren for decades and he was nearly 100 years old — Abraham kept believing that they would have a child. Their predicament made hope seem nonsensical, even laughable. But Abraham kept hoping.
This wasn’t the first time Abraham had experienced and maintained ridiculous hope. God told him to leave his extended family (very unusual in that culture) and go to a different land, promising him that he would be blessed and become great. Abraham made a decision to step out and find out. The promises came true as Abraham trusted God.
I think Abraham was an outstanding example of how to have ridiculous hope in the midst of infertility. He opened himself to hear from God. He trusted what God said. So much so, that he changed his name from Abram, which means “exalted father” , to Abraham, which means “father of many nations.” Imagine hearing other people call him father of multitudes when he and Sarah didn’t even have one child! Think of the ridicule he must have experienced. His ridiculous hope required having faith in what God had promised, trusting that what God had promised would indeed come to pass. Repeatedly hearing that description of himself , through others calling his name, surely must have built Abraham’s faith (faith comes by hearing–Romans 10:17).
There was another factor that increased Abraham’s hope for a child and faith in God’s promise. We learn in Romans 4:20 (YLT) that he “was strengthened in faith, having given glory to God.” The act of praising God, acknowledging His power and honoring Him by the words that Abraham spoke, helped to build up his faith.
Abraham had ridiculous hope in God, viewing Him as the only One who could give him all that he desired.
What will it take for you to live each day having ridiculous hope?