“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for and conviction of things not seen.” NASB & ESV
“Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.” NCV
Most people who have walked with the Lord for any period of time are familiar with this scripture, and also the rest of chapter 11,”The Faith Chapter”. We receive encouragement as we read the statement, “By Faith,” that begins 18 of the verses. So what does God want us to understand about Faith?
Verse 6 in the NIV says:”And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Verse 3 tells us that “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made of what was visible”.
These two verses tell me that first I must believe that God exists, and that the universe that I live in was formed only by God’s command. Those are two pretty big things to believe by faith. As I read through chapter 11 I’m challenged and encouraged by the faith of the saints of old…
Verse 6 says that Enoch did not die, but was taken from this world by God. By faith, Enoch was pleasing to God.
Noah, by faith, built an ark. It had never rained, and yet Noah believed, and “…in holy fear built an ark to save his family…”
Abraham’s faith is awe inspiring. He believed for a child of promise in his old age, and then by faith, offered that very child, Isaac, on an altar as a sacrifice, believing that God would provide another sacrifice in order to spare his son. Now that took faith! Who would think that a Hebrew baby, floating on the Nile, would be rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter and become great in the land of Egypt? And yet, by faith, Noah chose to follow the God of Israel as he led the Israelites out of Egypt and to the land they were to possess.
From Genesis through Revelation truths about God’s faithfulness to His people are told. In book after book we see how the people lived by faith. Hebrews 11:13 says, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw and welcomed them from a distance.”
In Hebrews 11:39-40 God says “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
So my question to you, and especially to myself, is this: What does Hebrews 11:41 say?
This is what the verse says in my bible. Some of the verse is yet to be written.
“By faith Ann chose to believe God, even when circumstances seemed impossible. By faith Ann, like Abel, made a better sacrifice. By faith Ann, like Abraham, obeyed and went, even though she did not know where she was going. By faith Ann, like Abraham, regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ, and she persevered because she saw him who is invisible. By faith Ann conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; her weakness was turned to strength; and she became powerful in battle and routed foreign enemies. By faith Ann believes and prays earnestly that all of her children, their spouses, grandchildren and their spouses, and 3 (so far!) great grandchildren will be faithful Christ Followers, serving Him all the days of their lives. By faith.”
That is what Hebrews 11:41 says in my bible, so far.
What does it say in yours?