How’s Your Faith Today?

This week we’re in Hebrews 11. Lucky us!  This is a beautiful chapter. We muscled through some tricky texts this semester. We put ourselves in the shoes of the early Hebrew Christians; we gazed upon Christ to understand that He is superior to the Old Testament law. We were convinced that Christ is the substance, and the law is the shadow. Christ is superior.

Hebrews 11 is all about faith, just like 1 Corinthians 13 is all about love. It is such a treasure.

The phrase ‘by faith,’ or ‘through faith,’ is used 23 times in this chapter. ‘By faith,’ is our refrain this week. And if the writer of Hebrews is going to use this word faith so many times, it’s important we know what ‘faith,’ means. It’s the crux of this whole lesson.

Hebrews 11:1 is a declaration of what faith does: “Faith is confidence in what we hope for, and assurance in what we do not see.”

Just like our sense of sight gives us evidence of the natural world, faith is the sense that gives us evidence of the spiritual world. Faith is a willingness to trust in, and rely on, and cling to something we don’t see yet. So, in that sense, faith deals in the future tense. Faith relates to the things we don’t have yet, the things we hope for and can’t see, or the things promised by God that aren’t fulfilled in our actual experience. In his commentary on Hebrews, Richard Phillips says that faith, “takes possession by anticipation of the spiritual blessings we will know in full one day.”

This is what faith does. Faith sees the spiritual realities our eyes can’t see. Faith is the assent of your soul that God is true, and His promises are coming.

Verse 6 outlines the basic faith required of anyone who seeks God. It says, “Anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” We must believe that God is, that He is who He has revealed Himself to be in scripture. We must believe that He is a triune God, Father, son, and Holy Spirit. We must believe that He is infinitely perfect, the creator of the universe, both rich in mercy and the just judge.

We must believe that this God is all of these things, and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. We must trust that we will find Him, that He will reveal Himself to us if we persevere and are diligent and consistent.

This seems like a low bar. Believe that God exists, and that He rewards those who seek Him.  That doesn’t seem too hard. I haven’t met many people that deny God’s existence. But honestly, we’re immersed in a world that denies God’s relevance. The world says, God might exist, but I’m not seeking Him, because He doesn’t have any rewards I’m looking for. If the God of the Bible offers righteousness, peace, and joy, I’ll pass. Whatever. I need power, and influence.

But our world needs faithful Christians today. Faith enables us to see the divine mark on the person the world would call your enemy. Faith sees the stable, joyful, ordered kingdom of God when the world appears ever shifting, and easily inflamed. Our faith is a strong, beautiful testimony because our faith is placed in a strong, beautiful God.

How’s your faith today? Can your spiritual eyes see a beautiful reality that your physical eyes can’t? Do you know God as Rewarder? Lord, increase our faith.


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