Romans 4:18-22; Genesis 15:1-6
Pastor Charles A. Tapp
August 29, 2020 Sermon Review
As many of you know, I am enamored with idiomatic expressions. These sometimes short, but cute, sayings should not always be taken literally, though at times they possess a powerful and poignant message. For example, when someone says that his or her old dog finally kicked the bucket, it doesn’t mean that this actually happened, but rather that the old dog finally died. And I’m sure that we are all familiar with the saying, “he was stabbed in the back.” Of course, as with all idioms, it doesn’t mean that someone literally stuck a knife in someone’s back, but that a trusted friend betrayed him. But what about when it comes to the expression, “against all odds?” The meaning here is that success was highly unlikely, but it was achieved despite the odds that were faced. In other words, despite the apparent situation or circumstance that was being faced, hope was not lost in the pursuit of reaching the desired goal, which was eventually achieved. Today, in our message, “Against All Hope,” we shall reflect upon a well-known story in the Old Testament where the idiom of “against all odds” could easily apply.
▪ Sometimes some of the greatest and severest tests of our faith as followers of Christ will be when the odds that we find ourselves faced with speak louder than do the precious words of God. It is during these times that we must be willing to ignore what may appear to be clear logical reasoning and even conventional wisdom, but instead hold fast to what God has said. Romans 4:18-22; Genesis 22:1-18; Exodus 3: 1-11; Deuteronomy 31:1-6; 2 Corinthians 5:1-7
▪ The glory which God desires to receive from his children is not merely through the praises that we offer him through our voices, but rather it is through a life of faith, which despite being faced with the temptation to follow human wisdom, chooses rather to move forward, propelled by their unwavering faith in God. Romans 4: 20-25; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Hebrews 11:11, 12
The faith that Abraham had in the promise that God had made, which became the fuel to propel him forward despite the impending odds he faced, is the same faith that is available to us today. Not simply as a means to achieve success in this life, but it is this faith, which enables us to experience the life that is to come as well.
Question for Reflection
When was the last time you found yourself faced with a situation where it appeared that the odds of you achieving the success which, you so desperately needed were completely against you to the point where it caused you to lose all hope? In what way, if any, did God’s Word play a part in your success?
Quotes of the Week
“Hope is called the anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19) because it gives stability to the Christian life. But hope is not simply a ‘wish’ (I wish that such-and-such would take place); rather, it is that which latches on to the certainty of the promises of the future that God has made.” – RC Sproul
“Remember whose you are and whom you serve. Provoke yourself by recollection, and your affection for God will increase tenfold; your imagination will not be starved any longer, but will be quick and enthusiastic, and your hope will be inexpressibly bright.” -Oswald Chambers