Hebrews chapter 11
Do you have faith? Faith in who or what you may ask. I have faith that the chair I am sitting in as I type this message will bear my weight and I will not fall on the floor. I may also say that I have faith that tomorrow will be a lovely day for me.
I do have faith, but these examples are not the sort of faith I am talking of. My chair may topple and tomorrow maybe a dreadful day. I am talking about Faith that has certainty. Faith that is not a vain hope, but is based on the promises and character of Christ. In this chapter, we see a number of people who had faith. They lived in the days of the old testament and their faith was grounded in what God revealed to them and looked forward to Christ and his sacrifice.
“Now faith is the assurance of the things hoped for, the conviction of the things not seen, for by it the men of old gained approval”. We see from this that it is only by faith that we get Gods approval and the men in the old testament had that faith. Abel had faith as he sacrificed to God, his brother Cain did not even though he appeared to. They both sacrificed, but Abel’s heart was different.bi
Enoch’s faith caused him to be taken up so that he did not die. So this passage details Noah, Abraham, and Sarah, all of whom died in faith without receiving the promise of Christ, but believed them and saw them from afar and put their trust in him. We live in a time of great privilege for we have resources to get to know God that they did not. We look back to Christ and can read about his works, his words, his character and all that he has revealed. We have therefore more understanding than all of the characters in this passage had, yet they loved and trusted the lord. We are also reminded in this passage that without faith it is impossible to please God. Note that it is impossible, not just difficult, it is impossible. We, therefore, need to be sure that our faith is the right sort of faith. Not faith that is a vain hope, but faith in the certainty of Christ. Faith that he is, in turn, faithful and will deliver from sin and that he will reward us according to our faith in him. We should go to him in expectation, not vain hope that we will receive what we need from him. He does not say that this is easy. Often it is not, but as we make the effort to serve him and get to know him we should trust that he will give more faith.
I sometimes think that I do not have as much faith as I would like to have, but if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, it will grow. Perhaps as you read this you have realised that you need faith. God to God for it and expect to receive it.