“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Heb 11:1-3
It’s football season again! Whooop (If you’re a Texas Aggie fan). Your team just scored. You know they are going to win the game. That’s not faith; that’s hope. Maybe they will finish well and come home a winner.
What is faith? It’s a complete trust or confidence…
Hebrews, Chapter 11 is a roll call of great men and women of faith…
Abel – “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings….” Heb 11:4
Enoch – “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.” Heb 11:5
Noah – “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” Heb 11:7
Abraham – “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Heb.11: 8
Sarah – 11 “By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.” Heb 11:11
Abrah – “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” Heb 11:17-18
The list goes on … Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel.
All of these people of the Old Testament “who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection… Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. ” Heb 11:33-38
Wow, what an impressive list of conquests over adversaries and impossible situations. But wait, verses 36-39 says, …
“Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated– of whom the world was not worthy–wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth…And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,” Heb 11:39
What happened here? Verse 39 never stood out before until just now. Did these people not have faith, not enough faith, lose faith?
No…They were steadfast even though the end result was not what they anticipated. They believed their reward was a heavenly reward for eternity.
Faith, a complete trust or confidence…I have seen and experienced my faith in God answered, sometimes not immediately, but further on down the road of my life. If somebody asked you how God has answered your faith in Him, what would you say?
God has our back; he doesn’t forget His promises to us if we believe, have faith…put our trust and confidence in Him. No matter if we fumble the ball once in awhile, the other team scores. We know what the score at the end of the game is.
Dear Heavenly Father, Chapter 11 of Hebrews is such a powerful chapter from your Holy Word. It gives hope to all who have faith in you. It needs to be reread frequently. It’s more than just a Christian pep talk; it’s not about maybe’s. It’s a scorecard of what You have done in other’s lives, and our lives. The outcome of our life as a believer is foregone. We won!”