Here it is – the faith chapter! When I think of the book of Hebrews, this is the chapter that comes to my mind! Because this chapter is pretty well known it can be easy to get in the habit of skimming. We know most of these stories already, and their outcomes. When you read today I challenge you to slow down and really think about each person mentioned here. Maybe God will speak to you in a new way through one of these old stories!
Verse 1 starts us off with a great explanation of what faith is exactly. Faith is defined as having complete trust in someone or something, in our case, faith is having complete trust in God’s promises! As we go through and read about all of these people such as Enoch, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and so many others that are labeled as faithful servants who had complete trust in God and His promises, reflect on your own life. What an honor to be commended for your faith and specifically mentioned in scripture as these “ancients” were! If someone was to write your life story that people could read for years to come, would it include a sentence like verse 2? Would you be commended for your faith and held up as an example for living as a trusting servant of God?
I’m going to finish this post off a little sooner than my previous ones, simply because I think this chapter should speak uniquely to each of you. So, to wrap up I want to focus on the last two verses.
Verse 39 talks about how all of the people mentioned were not able to receive what was promised in their lifetime. Can you imagine how big their faith had to be for them to remain faithful through such intense and difficult situations, and yet not see what was promised? Some of the people went through horrible persecutions and struggles, but here they are commended for their faith. Despite all they went through, they kept an intense trust in God because they knew one day He would fulfill His promises. I know I personally struggle to trust God in daily situations, even though I’m closer to that promise than any of those “ancients” were! I think this chapter sets up a great example for us, however difficult it may be to follow. And verse 40 explains why… because God has something better planned that is going to be made perfect. As cliché as it may be, God’s timing is intentionally designed for perfection one day.
It can be discouraging to day after day wait for a promise to be fulfilled, and I think all of the ancients felt the same! When we have something so good and perfect waiting for us, it’s hard to just wait. But I don’t think God has called us to “just” wait. I think we need to wait actively! All of the people mentioned in this chapter weren’t sitting alone in their houses until they died waiting for a promise to come through, they were out living and serving a faithful God! We don’t know how long we are going to have to wait, but we do know that there will be a day when God’s promises come true. So, while we wait, what are we doing to showcase commendable faith to others? Are we being good examples like the ancients? Let’s be active wait-ers that excitedly look towards the day of Jesus’ return!