I was just reading the “Faith Chapter” in the Bible today. Hebrews 11. You might recall what this chapter’s all about, or you might not know it at all. In the Message Bible, Hebrews 11:1 reads: “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.”
I can imagine that if I had no faith, I would not really want to continue to live this life of difficulties. Even though my difficulties are most likely not any worse than anyone else’s difficulties–and I have to admit my struggles are minor in comparison to other people’s I know–there have been days (lately) when I long for the time when I will be free from all of the things that bring me down.
But faith is “our handle on what we can’t see.” It’s “what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.” (The Message) I think I might like to be set above the crowd, too, like my relatives. How about you? How’s your “handle” doing?
From here, the chapter goes on to list giants of faith; the roll-call: Noah, building an ark on dry land; Abraham, traveling to an unknown place, trusting that God would provide; Sarah, old as she was and Abraham even older (the Bible says, “one man’s dead and shriveled loins!) becoming pregnant. Together this unlikely but faithful couple became the parents of people numbering in the millions. The writer goes on to list more and more giants of faith, and even says, “I could go on and on but I’ve run out of time (verse 32), but he actually does go on. (I can relate…)
Hebrews 11 says that, “Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.”
I find lots of comfort in this Faith Chapter. I am not unlike my ancestors, who were also faith-filled but suffered and struggled. Yet in the end, they continued to trust God, even when it seemed all was lost, hopeless, destroyed. The Bible says that God protected them: from lions, fires, swords, armies, and more. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. And there were those who received something even better than worldly protection: resurrection.
I find great joy in the fact that my faith is coming together with their faith, and the faith of my believing relatives, and your faith and to make one completed whole. I’m part of a much bigger picture than I can ever imagine–and so are you! And someday, SOMEDAY…there will be resurrection!
Praying for a faith-filled week for each of you!