Read: Hebrews 11

What is the most difficult thing you will have to face today?
  • Chase a toddler around the house until bedtime tonigh?
  • Work with a boss who is extremely hard to please?
  • Decide whether you will follow your doctor’s next treatment plan? 
I could continue with hundreds of dilemmas you and I will be facing this week. Life is hard! And in the midst of all of life’s trials there is one huge challenge to the care of your soul. That challenge is…LIVING BY FAITH. 

And yet “living by faith” is the very thing God asks us to do. From the very beginning of time God has been calling out a people who will trust Him to do what He says He will do. For example, He invited Adam and Eve to live by faith in His promise to provide all that they would ever need (Genesis 2). He invited Abram to live by faith in His promise to turn Abram’s offspring into a great nation, through which God would make His saving power known to the entire world (GEN 12). He called Moses to live by faith in His promise to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt into the land He had been promising them for centuries (EX 3-4). We could recite the likes of Joshua, Samuel, David, and the Prophets. And eventually we make our way to King Jesus, the promised Messiah and Savior of the world. After showing that He was alive from the dead, and after declaring that the Father had granted to Him all power in heaven and earth, this same King calls His followers to go and make disciples from all nations (MT 28:18-20). This so-called “Great Commission” is actually a call to live by faith.

However, the “faith-life” is encumbered with the possibility of rejection and persecution. Why would anyone want to replace comfort with pain? We wouldn't unless our vision of God is bigger than the pain and discomfort of the moment. That is why our text for the week is sometimes referred to as “the Hall of Faith.” Notice how the writer structures the text. He builds on the last verse of the preceding chapter. In Hebrews 10:39 he looks to the present and the future when he says, “But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.”  If you are a Christian, that’s who you are. You are one who has faith and is headed in the direction of kingdom life—eternal life with Jesus. 

Frequently we read Hebrews 11 and focus on the people who have courageously lived by faith. But if you look closely at the text you will discover that the real focus in on the living God. The phrase “by faith” is always followed by what God said and did. The people mentioned in the chapter trusted God to do what He said He would do. In fact, that’s what faith is. It is living today, believing God will do what He says He will do, even though the reality of that promise has not yet come to pass (cf. HEB 11:1-2). Every person mentioned in the chapter lived that kind of faith. But it was faith focused on the credibility of God. 

So what does that mean in the midst of all you are facing today? What does it mean when it seems like God is allowing more pain into your life than the blessings you think you deserve? Read Hebrews 11 one more time, and then remember this: YOU CAN LIVE BY FAITH, KNOWING THAT GOD IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL TO HIS PROMISES.

So what has He promised you? Lots of things, but some truths about God are foundational. He has promised to rescue repentant sinners from the power and penalty of sin (ROM 6:1-5)! He has promised believers that He will be present with them in all they are facing (MT 28:20; HEB 13:5). And then He is promising you life forevermore in the Kingdom of His dear Son (JN 3:16; ROM 6:22). At that point in time there will be no more pain, no more heartbreak, and no more death (REV 21:3-4). 

So what course of action should you and I take today? What will it look like to live by faith? At least two things will be necessary. First, remind yourself that the discomfort of the moment is—well, it’s momentary! It won’t last forever. Second, remind yourself (yes, say it out loud) that God is always true to His word! He has never failed on a promise yet, and He never will. So…LIVE BY FAITH!

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