HUMAN HOPE VS DIVINE HOPE
By Rev. Ernest O'Neill
I mean H.G. Wells is right -- there is such a thing as a time machine. It is far beyond man's control but God is able to do that because he dwells in one great eternal present moment of timelessness, not in the midst of our changing time and space. So faith is an absolute confidence that God has already destroyed you in him. He has already disentangled all the messes that are in your life and the moment you believe that and begin to walk forth in that confidence, that God is going to manifest that, that frees God to manifest it.
But it's nothing to do with the industry averages. You know the industry averages are what we study in business: what will our restaurant be likely to do in that location at this time and this date of the American economy. It's nothing to do with it. The industry average is, we'd have insured that Gideon was absolutely wiped out and never heard of again. So it has nothing to do with it. It is a different realm, and I'll show you it again with Abraham if you remember about the son. It's in Romans; the comment on it is in Romans 4:18. And loved ones, if you let God implant this in your heart, it'll deliver you from a lot of anxiety and torture.
Romans 4:18, "In hope", this was you remember if you like to go back, I am sorry, to Romans 4:16, "That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants" -- the promise that he would have a son -- " 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."
Romans 4:18, "In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations; as he had been told, 'So shall your descendants be.'" Now do you see he didn't hope, he believed, he believed. He believed what God has said he had done. He believed that. Actually it says, "In hope he believed against hope", he had to believe against human hope. He had to look at his wife's body, 80-90 years old, and his own body 100 years old. There was no human hope there. There was nothing in the appearance of the human circumstances that gave him hope. So he hoped against human hope, in divine hope, in divine confidence that God would manifest what he had done in Christ on Calvary, he believed.
Loved ones, it's nothing to do with looking at your family and thinking, "They're getting a bit better, they're getting a bit better -- they're not getting a bit better, they're not.” They're getting worse. Apart from God, they're just getting worse and there's no point in looking at your job situation thing, it's getting a bit better, it's not getting a bit better, the whole thing's on the way down. It's clear, it's obvious, the whole place is deteriorating. We all know that.
No, you don't tantalize and torture yourself or let Satan torture you by looking at the human circumstances and thinking, "it's getting a bit better", that's human hope and there's no hope for that human hope. You believe in divine hope, in divine expectation that God will be the God of encouragement to you and will manifest in time and space what he has done in Christ on Calvary. There's even more to it if you look at that next verse 19.
Romans 4:19, "He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God". Now loved ones, you all know where he is living. I mean you've been there. He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about 100 years old.
You know you and me. "Abraham, Abraham, don't look at your body, don't look at your body, it'll spoil your faith, don't look at your body, don't look at Sarah. Don't look at that other young lady, don't look at Sarah, don't, it'll spoil your faith." That's where we are, isn't it? It's a kind of game we're playing.
"Yeah, yeah my mother is well, yeah". She is dying but we say, "Yeah, she's well, she's well", because we are trying to whistle a little song in the dark. We try to whistle a little song, keep our eyes from looking at the hard facts as we call them. Do you see that's not faith? Faith is looking straight in the face of the facts. Looking at the age of Sarah's body and it's barren and there hadn't been a child there for years. Looking at his own body, 100 years old, almost worn out, almost dead. Looking straight at that, looking straight at the 135,000 of the enemy and looking at your own 300 men, it's looking plainly at the facts and not trying to pretend that they've been crucified or they look crucified. See, that's what we do.
We're looking at the facts and we're saying, "Does it look kind of crucified, if it kind of looks as if it's weakening, maybe I can believe for total victory." No, it's looking at the facts and saying, "This isn't crucified. Look, it's plain there. This is why it is such a mess. It has not been crucified yet, but I know it has been crucified in Christ and if I will just believe that, that will be manifested here in time and space." But you see it's looking at the facts as they are.