Paul seems to divide the times into three sections: Before the Law, Between the Law and Christ, After Christ. In our lesson today he provides examples from the first and second periods to speak to the third. God does not change, but it is good to see the application of righteousness throughout our time periods.
One of the biggest lessons in this is time. We quickly grow impatient. We begin to doubt. We worry and fret. We become anxious. We take matters in to our own hands.
All of these are opposites to having hope. I don’t mean the type of hope that is just a wish. I mean hope that is looking forward to an event that is promised and paid.
From the stories of the bible we see that years may sometimes pass, decades at times, between when we receive a promise and when it is fulfilled. What we fail to see is the perspective of what else is happening during that time. We don’t see how we are becoming stronger by feasting on His word. We don’t see how God is moving all the pieces of the world into alignment. We only see that it isn’t happening right now, which is what we would prefer.
What should we do when we feel impatient and anxious? We should do the same thing that Paul did for the Jews in Rome – remember God’s faithfulness. As children of Abraham through our shared faith in God, we receive and inherit all of the promises and covenants God provided to “His People.” He has never failed to deliver on those promises. He doesn’t rush. He doesn’t delay. He provides them as the time is right and we are prepared.
By filling ourselves with hope, by serving, studying, reading, teaching, praising, praying, trusting, obeying – we keep hopelessness, doubt, worry and anxiety at bay. God is the creator and His timing is perfect.
faith was hopeful, not weakened, strong. We (all who have faith) are Abraham’s offspring
With hope, with faith that was not weakened, with strength in God