10 Signs of a Christian – 7.  Faith

 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.  (Hebrews 11:1-3)

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.  (Hebrews 11:13-16)

Learn it:

            Chapter 11 of Hebrews is a common chapter we turn to, to learn about faith.  The chapter starts off by helping us understand what faith is.  When I read the first verse it makes me want to ask, what are we hoping for?  What do we not see?  Whatever that is we immediately see that the “ancients” were commended for that type of faith.  The rest of Hebrews 11 goes through different stories of people of people from the Old Testament and how they displayed their faith. 

            Then in the middle of the chapter we get a little more clarification about the type of faith people in the Old Testament had.  God had made them promises of land, and of a coming Messiah.  They were hopeful that God was creating a country for them but not just an earthly one but a heavenly one.  That is what we are all hopeful for.  We are hopeful that God is preparing a place for us to go when we die.  We do not see it now, but we see evidence of God in creation.  While we await being reunited with God we have his work to do. 

Live it:

            Faith boils down to trusting God in his promises, even when we may not experience them in our lives today.  In the Old Testament very few of the people got to experience the promises of God.  That did not prevent them from doing very courageous things.  As a follower of Christ our citizenship is in heaven.  We should be sold out on his promise that if God calls us to do something that seems uncomfortable, we should be willing to do it.  We can do that because we know that what awaits us in heaven will be so much better than any pain we will experience now.  That is what faith is calling us to do. 

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