1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
In today’s world if we hope for something it means we are wishing for something that we want to happen to come to pass but in this passage the blue letter bible defines hope as: to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence!
Rely on these wonderful examples of faith:
4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
This passage shows that without faith it is impossible to please God and this must have been Cain’s problem. Also a life of Faith will leave a legacy that can speak to our children and grandchildren long after we are gone.
5By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
What a wonderful testimony of one’s life “that he pleased God”!! Enoch was a man blessed beyond anything Bill Gates, Donald Trump or any such man could ever imagine or hope to accomplish.
6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
I must know that God will reward me for diligently seeking him and not let self doubt of abilities dissuade me because we are all unworthy and all fall short, so I must do what is in my power which is to diligently seek after him and trust him to guide me to and enable to follow his will for my life.
7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
The lesson I take from Noah’s faith is this: We do not know what the future holds but we serve a God who knows every detail and following him with unwavering faith may save not only my life but the life of those I love and not only in the physical life but unwavering faith could span generations to lead future family members to eternal life.
8By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
What a challenge! Would I be willing to follow if my husband said the Lord has led him to move to a unfamiliar land? Would I trust and obey? I hope I would but I will not deny the weakness in my spirit that trembles at the thought of leaving family and familiarity behind. While some relish the idea of a new adventure I dig in an hold on to what I know. Dear Lord, Please give me the strength to overcome my fears and follow you where ever our path leads.
9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
My fear is that I will cause my family to miss a blessing because I so long to hold on to consistency and fear change! I need to focus on this fact: My only true constant in this temporary world is GOD, so that the only way I can have unchanging security is to be right smack dap in the center of his will. Oh, lord that I would dread being outside your will as much as I dread any change. If I feared every instance of displeasing you as much as I dreaded a change in my routine then I would have true security. Please help me remember this truth and to graciously accept changes you bring into my life and moreover help me to remember what a false sense of security it is, to thing because I have a routine that I have control of anything when in fact I have control of nothing.
11Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
We can rely more fully on God when we can see it is humanly unlikely to happen, if we admit to ourselves although we can’t God can. Perhaps sometimes God is waiting until we reach this understanding before he blesses us so that we can fully understand the good gift comes from him and not by our own hand.
12Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. 13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Perhaps some of the rewards or blessings we receive will be unto future generations of our families or unto future generations of the children we have worked with over the years in church. Being bound so to physical sight and touch in understanding it is hard to desire and look forward to these blessings quiet the same as we do the here and now blessing but their impact is so much greater in the kingdom of God.
17By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
Abraham was truly willing to give up everything to serve God, I know my faith is nowhere near this and I pray Lord you teach me it is so hard to even comprehend this Faith.
20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
I have to entrust my children by faith to go beyond me and live productive lives for God.
21By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. 22By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
Finishing Faith, means faith to the very end and never wavering even to the last breath.
23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.24By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Moses truly walked by faith and not by sight. his mind was not set on the riches of Egypt because he understood there was more important things to strive or than temporal riches. I pray I can learn from his example.
28Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. 30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. 31By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
So many miracles were seen by the children of Israel but yet they murmured and were stiff necked. I must admit God has worked many miracles in my life, I have seen many marvelous and wonderful manifestations of God’s love for me as one plucked from filth, and yet I murmur and I am stiff necked. Displeasing my Lord who I know is truly not a respecter of person as he allowed me to be part o his family. Lord I realize how ridiculous and ignorant my discontentments with temporary difficulties are and how I truly show myself unfaithful and silly when I doubt even though you have never left me wanting for anything. Please forgive me for repeating these mistakes and help me to not be so ignorant as to forget the works you have already done in my life. Please forgive me this sin Father in Jesus name.
32And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. 34Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect
It is true that even as God was faithful to all these men and women he will also be faithful to us. However it is also true that even as all these men and women did suffer afflictions of many sorts we too will suffer. If these had stories of greater miracles then did they not suffer even greater afflictions? Lord thank you that I have not had to suffer to the extent of these yet I have witness your hand upon my life in miraculous ways.