When All Hope Is Lost, Believe God’s Promises
By Rick Warren — 09/20/2023
“While God was testing him, Abraham still trusted in God and his promises, and so he offered up his son Isaac and was ready to slay him on the altar of sacrifice; yes, to slay even Isaac, through whom God had promised to give Abraham a whole nation of descendants!”
Hebrews 11:17-18 (TLB)
Have you ever felt your hope die?
You can know hope is dying when you hear yourself say the word “never”: “I’ll never get married. I’ll never get that job. I’ll never have children.”
You’re certainly not alone. One of the greatest heroes of faith in the Bible, Abraham, felt like that.
Romans 4:18 tells us, “Abraham, when hope was dead within him, went on hoping in faith, believing that he would become ‘the father of many nations.’ He relied on the word of God which definitely referred to ‘your descendants’” (Phillips).
What do you do when hope dies and you’re ready to give up? You rely on what God has promised. Where do you turn when everything in you feels like doubting God? You turn to God’s Word.
To become a person of faith, you need God’s Word in you.
Notice the Bible says that Abraham “relied on God’s Word.” Nothing is more reliable than God’s Word!
Even when Abraham faced his biggest test—God asking him to sacrifice his son—he relied on God’s promises.
“While God was testing him, Abraham still trusted in God and his promises, and so he offered up his son Isaac and was ready to slay him on the altar of sacrifice; yes, to slay even Isaac, through whom God had promised to give Abraham a whole nation of descendants!” (Hebrews 11:17-18 TLB).
After Abraham and Sarah waited years for a child, God gave them Isaac. And then God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.
Abraham didn’t panic. The Bible shows three ways Abraham responded in faith:
- Abraham believed God could raise his son from the dead (Hebrews 11:19).
- Abraham told his servant, “We’ll be back,” not, “I’ll be back” as he and Isaac headed up the hill for the sacrifice (Genesis 22:5).
- When Isaac asked Abraham, “Where is the lamb we will sacrifice?” Abraham answered, “The Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:8).
Abraham believed the promises of God. He knew God would either spare his son or resurrect him.
When all hope seems lost, put your hope in God. “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (Romans 5:5 NLT).
Talk It Over
- Have you ever felt like all your hope was gone? How did you respond—with panic or with faith?
- How can you start or continue to cultivate a faith like Abraham’s?
- Which of God’s promises has been helpful to you when you have lost hope? How can you help someone else grab hold of that promise?