HOPING AGAINST HOPE
“The promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants—not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all, as it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations’—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations…” (Rom 4: 13-18a)
God’s promise to Abraham, about inheriting the world, is made to all of us, who share Abraham’s faith. At times, each of us may feel “not” in possession of our world, as “sin” divorces us from the Oneness of God with all His creation, bringing us pointlessly to battle against people, places and things in self-isolated and self-centered fear. In self-centeredness, outside of God-centeredness, we come to fear, because we don’t find in our own selves, without God’s grace, sufficient strength and “life” to “inherit” and carry the blessings and burdens of our world.
Today let me embrace faith and re-focus on God, re-connecting with His life-creating energies of meekness, patience, humility, love, compassion and wisdom. As we begin this third day of the Apostles’ Fast, I place my hope and faith not in myself, but in an ever-faithful God, “who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.” Let me be alive to God today, and Him to me, as I face my responsibilities, carrying the promise of His crucified-and-resurrected Son in my heart: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”