Abrahams hope - 6 August 2020

Xanthe Hancox

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4:18-21

Abraham had hope even when there seemed to be no reason for hope. God had promised him a son, and from that son’s family would come a great nation. They would be so many that, like the stars in the sky, it would be impossible to count them (Genesis 15:4-5).

But time ticked on, Abraham became an old man, his wife Sarah became an old woman, and still God had not carried out his promise to him. Sarah even laughed when God repeated his promise to Abraham.

Despite this, Abraham chose to believe God and waited for God to carry out his promise. When Abraham was 100 years old, his wife Sarah gave birth to their son, Isaac (Genesis 21:1-5). The birth of Isaac brought great joy to Abraham and Sarah; but it was just the beginning of God’s promises to him. Most of the things that God promised to Abraham would not happen during Abraham’s life (Hebrews 11:13). Abraham was aware of that fact (Genesis 15:13-16), but he still continued to believe and to trust God.

We can believe our circumstances, or we can believe God.

Abraham and Sarah’s long years of disappointment at not being able to have a child ended as the joy of welcoming their son Isaac filled their hearts. God had indeed brought laughter and hope, the beginning of the fulfillment of his promise to make them a great nation (Genesis 12:2).

Prayer: Father, sometimes our hope seems so far-fetched that we struggle to believe in your promises. Forgive me for doubting that you are able to do all you have promised. Amen.

Abraham se hoop - 6 Augustus 2020

Xanthe Hancox

Toe daar geen hoop meer was nie, het Abraham nog gehoop en geglo, en so die vader van baie nasies geword volgens die belofte: “So sal jou nageslag wees.” Al was hy sowat honderd jaar en al het hy dus goed besef dat sy liggaam reeds gedaan was en dat Sara te oud was om kinders te hê, het sy geloof nie verswak nie. Hy het nie in ongeloof begin twyfel aan die belofte van God nie, maar hy is in sy geloof versterk en het aan God die eer gegee. Hy was ook ten volle daarvan oortuig dat God mag het om te doen wat Hy beloof het. Romeine 4:18-21

Abraham het nog gehoop selfs toe daar klaarblyklik geen rede tot hoop meer was nie. God het hom 'n seun beloof van wie daar 'n groot nasie sou voortspruit. Hulle sou so baie wees dat, soos die sterre in die hemel, dit nie moontlik sou wees om hulle te tel nie. (Genesis 15:4-5)

Maar die tyd het verbygegaan en Abraham het oud geword. Sy vrou, Sara, was ook oud en steeds het God nie sy belofte aan Abraham gestand gedoen nie. Sara het selfs gelag toe God sy belofte aan Abraham herhaal het.

Ten spyte hiervan, het Abraham gekies om God te glo en op Hom gewag om sy belofte uit te voer. Toe Abraham 100 jaar oud was het Sara geboorte gegee aan hulle seun, Isak. (Genesis 21:1-5) Die geboorte van Isak het vir Abraham en Sara groot blydskap gebring, maar dit was slegs die begin van God se belofte aan hom. Die meeste van die dinge wat God aan Abraham beloof het, sou nie gedurende sy leeftyd gebeur nie (Hebreërs 11:13). Abraham was daarvan bewus (Genesis 15:13-16), maar nogtans het hy geglo en God vertrou.

Ons kan in ons omstandighede glo, of ons kan in God glo.

Abraham en Sara se jare van teleurstelling omdat hulle nie 'n kind kon hê nie, is beëindig toe die vreugde van die koms van hulle seun, Isak, hulle harte gevul het. God het werklik blydskap en hoop gebring, die begin van die vervulling van sy belofte om hulle 'n groot nasie te maak (Genesis 12:2).

Gebed: Vader, soms is ons hoop so vergesog dat ons sukkel om u beloftes te glo. Vergewe my dat ek soms twyfel dat dit vir U moontlik is om alles wat U beloof het, te doen. Amen

Active hope - 5 August 2020

Xanthe Hancox

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.  1 Thessalonians 5:8

The truth about Christ’s second coming is that we cannot predict when it will be. A few earlier we read “The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5). Jesus himself said, “About that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32).

It’s easy to get caught up looking for signs, but we shouldn’t worry too much about the precise timing as we wait in hope.

In fact, the Bible calls us to wait in active hope as we look forward to the day when Christ will come again. Being certain that the day of the Lord is coming is neither a cause for panic nor for complacency. Rather, we should be alert and watchful, putting on the armour of faith, love, and hope.

A soldier puts on armour to fight and to defend himself. What the breastplate and helmet are to a soldier's heart and head, such are faith, love, and hope to us. Faith enables us to endure the trials that we experience, love spurs us on to action, and hope helps us to anticipate the glory that shall be revealed.

And as we wait, we are invited to begin living already in the ways of heaven, as the Holy Spirit helps us.

Prayer: Lord, we look forward to the day when you will come again. May we use the time wisely to grow your kingdom. Thank you for the hope we have because of your gift of salvation. Amen.

Aktiewe hoop - 5 Augustus 2020

Xanthe Hancox

Maar ons wat van die dag is, moet nugter wees; ons moet geloof en liefde as borsharnas dra en die hoop op verlossing as helm. 1Tessalonisense 5:8

Dit is waar dat ons nie kan voorspel wanneer Christus se wederkoms gaan plaasvind nie. 'n Aantal verse voor ons vers vir vandag, lees ons: "dat die dag van die Here onverwags kom soos 'n dief in die nag." (1 Tessalonisense 5:2). Jesus self het gesê: “Maar niemand weet wanneer daardie dag en uur kom nie, selfs nie die engele in die hemel nie en ook nie die Seun nie. Net die Vader weet dit." (Markus 13:32)

Dit is maklik om vasgevang te raak in die soeke na tekens, maar ons moet ons nie te veel oor die presiese tyd bekommer nie, want ons wag in hoop.

Inderdaad, die Bybel leer ons om in aktiewe hoop te wag terwyl ons uitsien na die dag wanneer Christus weer sal kom. Die seker wete dat die dag van die Here sal kom, is nie rede tot paniek of vir oorgerustheid nie. Ons moet eerder gereed en waaksaam wees, en die wapenrusting van geloof, liefde en hoop aantrek.

'n Soldaat trek sy wapenrusting aan om te veg en homself te verdedig. Wat die borsharnas en helm vir die soldaat se hart en kop moet doen, is wat liefde en hoop vir ons doen. Geloof stel ons in staat om die beproewinge wat ons beleef te verduur, liefde spoor ons aan tot aksie, en hoop help ons om uit te sien na die heerlikheid wat geopenbaar sal word.

En terwyl ons wag, word ons uitgenooi om nou reeds, met die hulp van die Heilige Gees, volgens die weë van die hemel te leef.

Gebed: Here, ons sien uit na die dag dat U weer sal kom. Gee dat ons die tyd met wysheid sal gebruik om u koninkryk uit te brei. Dankie vir die hoop wat ons het danksy u geskenk van verlossing. Amen

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