Romans 4 talks about Abraham, a man to whom God made an amazing promise. God spoke to a man who had no offspring at the time and promised to make him a great nation. God told Abram that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.
A 75 year old man with no children.
This is the God who creates something out of nothing. Romans 4:17 (ESV) says,
“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.”
He calls into existence the things that do not exist. This is not an ability we possess. If it were, I would most certainly call dinner into existence every evening about 5:55. And a maid to clean up afterwards.
But really, some of the deepest desires of my heart have left me with questions that don’t have answers I can see right now.
There are relationships that don’t yet exist that will continue to shape me as a woman, a minister, a writer, a mother. There are sources of funds that do not yet exist to provide for the needs that keep me awake at night. My dear friend is pastoring a church that did not exist a few years ago, but God spoke life to the dead and called it into existence. Now it is ministering to people who didn’t have any idea of God’s plan to use this church body in their lives.
Some of you can easily identify the empty places that you have desperately begged God to fill. Me too. I can think of at least a handful of them. I have been in seasons of ministry and motherhood that do not look anything like what I expected, and the questions have outnumbered the answers for years.
Proverbs 13:12 (ESV) says that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
If you have experienced hope deferred, you know this heartsick feeling. I have had a some periods of great hope in the past decade, believing that I could see a new thing on its way or could predict how God was planning to move in my life. One by one, those opportunities fell through and I was left with a sick heart. I am well acquainted with the pain of deferred hope.
But I worship the God who has no questions and knows every answer. When I am weak, He is strong. I can pray and ask Him boldly to provide in ways that seem impossible.
Romans 4:17 has given me great hope over the past few weeks. It has refreshed my soul and put my focus where it belongs – on the One who speaks life to the dead and calls into existence things which DO NOT EXIST. He can do that, and I serve Him! He loves me and wants to do exceedingly, abundantly more than all I could ask or think.
If you are struggling with hope deferred, I would love to join you in prayer for God to move, to call into existence things that do not exist. Comment or send me an email so I can join with you and see what God will do!