What if the faith chapter (Hebrews 11) was written today? How might it read?
This thought struck me the other day. Whether Moses or Abraham or Rahab, these saints trusted in God, looking beyond their present circumstances to the One in control of their circumstances. By faith they looked to God, knowing His word and promises. As the opening verse of the faith chapter says,
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”
So how might we be sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see? What might that faith look like? Here are a few that come to mind.
By faith missionary saints did not consider Muslim lands to be impenetrable, but believed in Him who is able to penetrate the hardest and most hostile of hearts. They said with Paul that they were willing to endure all things for the sake of the elect. And so believing, they went.
By faith the stay-at-home saint looked beyond the midnight feedings and messy diapers to the future, trusting that the Lord would use her to raise godly offspring. She could foresee His grace in their adult lives. She could see her little ones storming the gates of unrighteousness with the light of the gospel. She could see the Lord using her imperfect parenting for such ends, knowing that the Lord loves to use the weak things of this world to shame the wise and strong.
By faith the philosophically minded saint did not consider the problem of evil to be an insurmountable problem. Instead he knew and trusted in the wisdom of God; how the Lord had already solved other seemingly insoluble problems in not only surprising ways, but in glorious ways. He could imagine falling down, one among the multitudes, at the consummation of all things and the unveiling of God’s purposes, worshipping Jesus with inexpressible joy. He could see the problem melting away.
By faith the saints of small congregations looked far beyond the borders of their neighborhood to distant lands, to people who have never heard the gospel- the unreached, even unengaged. They did not care only for the souls of those who looked like them, but they loved those whom they had never met, believing that God, through their prayers and sacrificial giving, would accomplish more than they could ever imagine. They did not merely see tribes and villages, but brothers and sisters just waiting to be adopted.
By faith the saints did not yield to the pressures of society, but continued to maintain a biblical vision of human sexuality. They did not lament the jeers and persecutions, but rather considered it pure joy to be like their Lord, the One who was first jeered and mocked.
By faith the young saint did not give in to the lusts that so easily entangle, but instead cried out to the One who is pure that he might be kept pure. He did this not only for the sake of his future wife, whom he had not yet even met, but because he looked beyond that earthly wife to another wedding, and seeing something of its wonder and glory, he desired to be kept free from all sin, especially that which tempts from phone, computer and movie.
By faith the frustrated saint did not lose heart over the state of the church with all of its fragmentation and disunity and unfaithfulness. Tempted to disassociate himself from the bride of Christ, he did not waver, but instead remained firm, choosing to use his gifts in a God-honoring manner. He looked ahead to when the church would reach unity in the faith and knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
[Many more could certainly be written. I’d love to hear some of your own! Feel free to post some in the comment section.]