Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For our ancestors won God’s approval by it. By faith, we understand that the universe was created by God’s command, so that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible. Hebrews 11:1-3
First things first! I adore how this chapter of Hebrews starts with the definition of faith. As many of you know, it’s one of my favorite tools for studying scripture. In verse one, our work is done for us.
Because no amount of good works could gain us access to eternal life, the only way to God is through faith. I think this turns some people off for several reasons: 1) people look at faith as weak and ignorant 2) faith feels too easy or 3) too risky.
To them, I say it’s not our faith in Christ that saves us! It is Christ Himself! Our faith must be in the Word of God (Bible) and it should be our foundation. We must strive to honor the instruction, discipline, and lessons God has given us through His written Word. When we read, discover and trust in His Word then faith will come naturally and there is nothing weak or ignorant about that. It isn’t too easy either, in fact, it can be difficult. For a long time, I struggled with the reality that I was worth it to God. Worth it for Him to send His only Son, Jesus, to die for all my mess and honor me with forgiveness and grace. And as far as risk goes . . . well, I think it’s much more of a gamble and risk to live without faith in God than it is to live with it. I don’t know about you, but I’m sticking with the man who rose from the dead and has an empty grave!
As verse 1 says, Faith equals hope! Faith doesn’t equal fear, risk or ease.
Those who have gone before us (our own ancestors) like Moses, Noah, David, Abraham, Esther . . . all acted and lived by faith. They weren’t perfect and made mistakes. They didn’t make it to God by their own efforts or good works, but by faith and hope.
Many say they don’t believe God exists because they can’t see Him. I say, if you look for Him, you do see Him. In the sunsets He masterfully paints in the evening skies, the birth of a new baby, the tears that flow from eyes heavy with loss, the embrace of friends, the forgiveness of unspeakable things, the rainbows and majesty of His creation and the mystery of how it’s woven together so perfectly from dust and dirt to brilliant starry skies.
Have you seen Him?