I am keeping it real today. Many of you know I have been hospitalized several times to get rounds of steroids in order to function. The weakness in my legs and the chronic pain at times has been unbearable. Occasionally it gets downright depressing. When I get the steroid I.V’s, energy begins to kick in and I have a few weeks to enjoy smiles, dinners, company, and events with family. As time dwindles by, the energy becomes depleted again. The muscle spasms and burning neurological pain becomes incredibly challenging. Often during my suffering, the Father will send people across my path who are far worse off than me and still I hear faith in their voices.
I want to talk to you today about HOPE. Hope is something we all need in some area or another. “Now faith is the substance of things HOPED FOR” Hebrews 11:1 KJB. I hope for health. What do you hope for?
David said, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalms 43:5 NIV.
I want to expand on HaShem and HIS CLOCK today. We cry and we pray and we ask and we expect and sometimes we give up HOPE. Sometimes we give up HOPE so badly that we try and do things in our own strength. We try to take out a loan to cover the other loan. We try and go to another doctor and get a different result. We attempt to make him or her notice us because we want a spouse, we need a help mate! We strain to get the door to open in our career by pushing on it in front of our boss. We try and fix it ourselves and usually end up with a hot mess.
I want to talk to you about a man named Abram and a woman named Sarai.
When Abram was 75 years old HaShem told him to leave his homeland and go live in tents. Let’s look at what the Father told him at age seventy-five.
“I will make you into A GREAT NATION, and I will bless you; I WILL MAKE YOUR NAME GREAT, and you will be a blessing” Genesis 12:2 NIV.
ABRAM: Time goes by and not much changes for Abram and his wife. His wife is barren and it’s been about a year since the prophecy came to him. However, he still has HOPE. Then three years go by and Abram thinks back to when he heard the voice of Elohim. Why hasn’t anything happened? Was it because he lied to the Ruler’s and said his wife was his sister. It wasn’t a complete lie. Perhaps HaShem had changed His mind? His thoughts bother him.
Soon five years have gone by and now the prophecy seems to him like a faint dream and yet he could still hear a whisper of hope, “I will make you into a great nation!” How? He had no child. Then year six and year seven, the number of completion. His wife is getting older and at times he continues to question the voice he heard. He ponders the time and place and the words, “I will make YOUR NAME GREAT.” Did he conjure it up in his feeble mind out of want? Out of a need to prove to his family he left back in the land of Ur that Yahweh had really spoken to him.
SARAI: The calendar keeps turning and now 10 years have passed. At first, she believed. At first, she was giddy! The few people she shared her husband’s vision with and the astounding words the Lord Adonai had promised them, seemed to all laugh, mock, and ridicule her now. Some call her husband a false prophet. She dreads meeting the other mothers and grandmothers at the local well. They all talk about their children, many carry their newborns in their arms, a constant reminder of her empty womb!
It was a curse to be barren, she knew this. Everyone knew this, for God himself spoke it in Deuteronomy 7:14, “You shall be blessed above all peoples; there will be NO MALE OR FEMALE BARREN among you or among your cattle” NASB. He promises again in Exodus 23:26 “There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days” NASB. The people say truly if Sarai was blessed, Abram would have a son.
So all the ruckus gets to be too much for his wife and she comes up with her own plan. She tries to fix it herself. She tries to figure out Yahweh’s plans and intervein.
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife.” Genesis 16:1-4 NIV.
TEN YEARS, TICK-TOCK. Abram is 85 now and he has a son by Hagar and names him Ishmael. Ishmael means, “GOD WILL HEAR.” Yes, the Father will, but the question I ask myself and my readers is will we hear Him and WAIT FOR HIS TIMETABLE?
When HaShem is ready something ASTOUNDING always happens.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty ; walk before me faithfully and BE BLAMELESS. Genesis 17:1
24 YEARS LATER AND ABRAHAM HAS NO SEED. I repeat, it has been 24 years since Abram heard HaShem at 75 years of age. Abraham knows his Father’s voice and he falls before him. HaShem has told him two things, WALK BEFORE ME FAITHFULLY AND BE BLAMELESS–let’s look at the next verses. “THEN I will make my covenant between me and you and WILL GREATLY INCREASE your numbers.”
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers. “Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations” GENESIS 17:1-4 NIV.
Yahweh says some more things, HOWEVER, I want you to listen to Abram’s response. Abraham fell face down; HE LAUGHED and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” Genesis 17:17 NIV. We laugh and we fear and we give up, but Yahweh had not forgotten what he said 24 years prior to Abraham. He did keep his word but it was all in His timing!
Hope in Hebrew means to TRUST.
Have you given up HOPE? DON’T! Twenty-four years is nothing to Elohim who is obviously not on our time table. I have a friend who has the words “Hope” on the wall behind her television. I used to look at those words and find comfort. Why? Because even in my pain I still have trust in a Father who heals.
Paul said, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” Romans 5:3-5 NASB.
So in the meantime, I HOPE for health, and I Trust in HIM. And Hope does not DISAPPOINT. What do you hope for?
Photography by: Ândrēw Yīsrâ’Ęl