Sunday, October 16, 2005

Handling Adversity - Gaining the Victory: Promise and Hope - it's about what you do

Gaining the Victory
Promise and Hope – it’s about what you do

Just mentioning Abraham’s name will bring many things to mind about him and what the Bible says about his great faith. It was through Abraham that God established the plan of salvation for all mankind. There is a quotation of Genesis 15:6 that occurs three times in the New Testament:

Gen 15:6 And he believed in Jehovah. And He counted it to him for righteousness.

God had promised an heir, a son, to Abraham but at the moment of this quotation, Abraham was questioning this promise. The verse just preceding verse 6 says that God took Abraham outside and told him to count the stars if he could and so would be those of his seed.

Someone can make a promise and if you believe it, that the person making it will execute it, then you have something to look forward to, hope for. If you believe and hope that the promise will happen then you act and behave in a way that is consistent with the promise. However, there are promises made to us that we simply don’t believe will happen for many possibly reasons. When that happens, you’re going to carry on as if the promise was never made.

Consider the passage in Hebrews 11:1

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

A person has faith because something has been promised and is the result in believing that it will be executed. There are two characteristics of faith that are identified in this verse: substance and evidence. A substance is something that can be seen, handled, and measured. Evidence is something that is left behind as a result of an action or sequence of events. Both of these words describe a faith in action and producing results for all to see.

In the context of suffering, pain, and problems, faith is critical to nourish the Christian and provide a source of comfort and strength. We know that suffering will come our way and when it does rather than dwell on why it is happening, we should spring into action because of our faith. If we truly believe God’s promises then we will act and behave in a way that is a reflection of those promises, our faith requires it.


1. Promise

2. Hope

3. Believe

4. Faith

5. Righteousness


1. Where are the three passages in the New Testament where Gen 15:6 is quoted and what is the context for it being quoted?

a. Romans ___:___

b. Galatians ___:___

c. James ___:___

2. How is it that Abraham’s belief is counted as righteousness?

3. What are some of the promises made to Christians that should be mindful in times of suffering and trouble? Give specific scripture.

4. Upon what basis do we know and trust that God will deliver on the promises He makes?

5. Why is it that Christians believe that we will be raised from the dead to a new life in Heaven with God? Give specific scripture.

6. Read James 4:7,8. What is the application to Christians during trials and temptations?

7. What does James have to say in his letter about faith and works? What is the relationship?

8. In Acts 16, we have the account of Paul being thrown into prison. What is recorded that Paul was doing while in prison? Why did he act like this?