Don’t Lose Hope
On an early morning during a torrential downpour in Tuscaloosa, AL Patrice Carter found herself driving in a raging river that had quickly covered the road ahead of her. Trying to reverse and drive the other direction, her small car was quickly picked up and pinned against the large center median of the road. The water rushed so quickly and violently all Patrice could do is climb to the top of her car and scream for help.
Luckily, off duty police officer and veteran search and rescue member Mike Stanton happen to look down from an overpass to find Patrice standing on her car screaming for help. Mike immediately rushed into action as he noticed the water level getting higher and higher. He can remember thinking to himself, “If I don’t get to her soon, the water’s going to sweep her off that roof and away!”
In the process of making his way to the river bank, Officer Stanton called for the local fire department to his location and notified them of Patrice’s situation. Patrice was frantically yelling for Officer Stanton to help her, but Mike knew the best thing at this point was to try and keep Patrice calm and tell her help is on the way.
As the firefighters and paramedics showed up, the water level was dangerously high now and about to swallow the car. Because of the noise of the rushing water, Officer Santon had to keep yelling for Patrice to hear his instructions. Just as they were making their first attempt to get a line across the street, Patrice slipped and was now lying on top of the roof of her car holding on for dear life. Officer Stanton kept yelling for Patrice to get up at least to her knees because he knew she wouldn’t be able to hold herself for long against the waves.
Reverting back to his training, Mike Stanton knew he had to give Patrice the one thing that could save her life, hope. Mike began to yell to Patrice, “Don’t lose hope!” “Don’t lose hope! He could see from Patrice’s reaction that the motivation of not loosing hope was helping Patrice, so he kept yelling it, “Don’t lose hope!” At one point, Patrice was able to get back up on her knees to give her arms a much needed break from holding on. It didn’t last long as Patrice then was quickly knocked back down by the violent waters.
The line was secured and the rescue workers, including Officer Mike Stanton, were in position, now all they needed was for Patrice to let go of the car and float into the rescue line that was meant to catch her. After much convincing, Officer Stanton convinced Patrice to let go of the only thing keeping her alive and float into the rescue line. The last thing Officer Santon said to Patrice as she let go of the car was simply, “Don’t lose hope, they got you.”
Patrice let go and was caught by the rescue line and led back to safety by a rescue swimmer. The first thing she wanted to do was thank the man who helped keep her alive. Officer Stanton rushed over to see that Patrice was okay and the two of them hugged in exhaustion. While Patrice was being checked over by the Paramedics on the scene she talked with Mike.
“You kept yelling to me, ‘Don’t lose hope!'”
To which Mike responded, “Well, hope is a powerful thing.”
Just at that point, after her mom didn’t come home from her night shift job, Patrice’s daughter ran over and gave her mom a huge hug thanking her and God that she was alright. Patrice said to her daughter, “I want you to meet someone who helped keep me alive today.”
“Officer Stanton I want you to meet my daughter, Hope.”
Hope is a Powerful Thing
Because Paul was still fighting the battle between the Way of Faith verses the Way of the Law, it was important for Paul to give an example of a Jewish believer who was saved by faith. The summary statement of Chapter 4 is found in verse 3 (NLT) 3 For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”
Then Paul goes into detail regarding the faith that Abraham showed even in the midst of desperation. There’s a line in verse 18 that I want us to conclude with today. Romans 4:18 (NLT) 18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping. I put a note in my bible when I read this before that puts it this way.
Even when there was no reason for hope, (insert name here) kept hoping.
I want you to finish today by reading verses 20-22 but I want you to replace Abraham’s name with yours. You can make him/her interchangeable as well.