Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” This gift that we’ve been given unlocks all the doors that the world closes. The Lord went to unbelievable lengths to give this gift to us: “Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2) The apostle Paul told the Galatians, “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (2:20)
Jesus died a horrific death on the cross so that you and I may have a way to be cleansed of our sins. The most amazing thing is that the grave couldn’t hold Him! Jesus rose so that we may rest assured that He who conquers death also has the power to conquer our inherent sin problem. This is where faith comes in. Faith is the spiritual air our souls breathe. It tethers us to the beautiful heart of the One who loves us more than anything the world might send our way. Faith reminds us that our hope of eternal life with Jesus is not in vain.
Like Noah, “when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family, (Hebrews 11:7)” we press on in faith knowing that doing the Lord’s will brings Him the glory and honor that is rightfully His. “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.” (11:8) Both of these situations sound absurd. In our day of smart phones and social media, it’s hard to imagine unplugging from either one of those forever and connecting to God. But maybe instead of an ark, we could build a Godly legacy with our lives, even though society will laugh and call us crazy. And, maybe instead of traveling to the Promised Land, we could just go across the street and be Jesus to our neighbor, even if we we’re filled with uncertainty about going.
Moses “chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” (11:25,26) Egypt had money. Egypt had material things. Just like our world today. Oh, if we could have the faith of Moses and look ahead to our eternal reward and say no to the temptations of this life. That kind of faith helps us live mistreated lives along with the rest of God’s children so that His glory can be known and not our own.
“I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength…” (11:32-34) Through a life of faith, these people also did amazing things with their lives. They trusted completely that God is who He says He is and that His promises don’t go unfulfilled. Even though they faced challenges that seemed insurmountable, through faith each overcame their obstacles and gave God the glory. And, their lives have a become a testimony to the richness and meaning that comes by living this life through the Lord’s great gift of faith.