Devotional for 6 November 2020 – Hebrews 11v1 – What is faith?

Hebrews 11:1

For a few months now, I have been taking you through what the Bible says about being a human being in relationship with the Living God.  We started back in July with our creation in God’s image.  We have looked at sin and death; we have looked at salvation and growing in sanctification.   We have looked more recently at prayer – and how amazing it is that we who are sinners can go into the presence of Almighty God.  When we get to Revelation, we will look at glory, where we will be face to face with the Living God who made us and saved us.

Until we get to glory, we live on this earth.  Believers live on this earth by faith and not sight.  Hebrews 11:1 defines faith for us: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  

We don’t live on this earth through the power of positive thinking but through believing what God says.  Faith is not presuming that everything will go well for us in earthly terms, but faith is taking hold of what God says and seeing it as a fact.   Faith believes God and is assured that what God says is true and so convicts us and motivates us to respond to the Lord – even though we can’t see Him and we don’t (yet) see all the promises fulfilled.

So faith led Abel to offer a right sacrifice (v4), Enoch to walk with God (v5) and Noah to build the ark (v7).

So faith leads us to believe that God is working all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).  Faith leads us to rest in confidence in His promises that He will not let us go, that we will receive the “things hoped for” and the “things not yet seen” in glory.  

Faith causes us to know that the Lord is with us in the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4), that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  Faith enables us to obey God, even when it is hard (so Moses chose to obey God rather than enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin, Hebrews 11:25).

Faith stands on God’s word, on His revelation.  The things “not seen” (Hebrews 11:1) aren’t our own ambitions and hopes for the future, but the unchanging promises of God’s word and eternity that we have not yet seen.  We will see them.  All that He has said will come to pass. 

Whatever the world, the flesh and the devil throw at us in this life, His promises are a rock on which we stand and they will never fail.

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