I found one main constant in these final chapters of Hebrews: faith. What is faith? Why do we need faith? What does faith do for us? Why does God desire us to have such a strong faith in Him? #letsgo
Faith: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (11:1)
I feel like a lot of the times, life can’t be counted on. The world is often times a shady place and it’s unreliable. Our faith in our parents are not always there. Our faith in our government is sometimes scary. Our faith in the education systems are lacking. Our faith in ourselves to stand up for what is right gets a little touchy. Faith. It’s quite a challenge. It’s trusting something when you are not totally sure of the outcome but believing that it will work out for your good. Chapter 11 is all about ancients from the Old Testament completely relying on the Lord to provide freedom and justice. “This is what the ancients were commended for.” Commended means to deserve attention or praise. The people in the O. T were praised for their faith in our Lord. Even when they were put into times of hardship, manual labor (oh Noah), extreme wandering (Where ya going Mos?!), or even to be led through a massive wave, people still held onto one thing: Faith in God. They were not sure of how things would end or even the road the Lord would put them on but still, they trusting Him to pave the way which led to righteousness in His eyes.
But wait. “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” So they didn’t receive God’s full promise? Not yet. God had bigger and better things in store for them: Jesus and his death and Resurrection which would lead to eternal life. If your faith is being tested right now, and it looks like God isn’t answering prayers or solving your problems, or finishing his promise – just wait. Patiently and prayerfully wait. It just means He’s not finished yet.
NOW COMES MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PASSAGE. ARE YOU READY? (Go read it for yourselves, I’m going to paraphrase. For those of you who don’t know what that means: I’m going to summarize it in my own words. It’s August. I’m a teacher. My mind is preparing.)
And so because we have read about all these incredible people from the Old Testament, and we have seen their faith in all kinds of different seasons, we should be THROWING off everything that makes us sin. Bad relationships, sexual television shows, porn, our social media, buffets:), parties, addictive stimulants, ect. It wraps our minds up in everything negative and against the will of Jesus. So THROW IT AWAY. And let us run, not leisurely walk, or even jog at that matter, ( God spits out the lukewarm believers), the path that Jesus has for our lives. Not with unsteady feet, but with ready and willing feet that are pumped to run that path. Not looking at anything but Jesus, who died for us and perfected our eternity. Without him, we would be nothing and would still be trying to cover our sins up with dead animals. We need to be running to him with our eyes solely fixed on the prize of Jesus because of what he did. He walked himself to the cross. He willingly laid down and did not try to take his hands or feet away while crazy, hateful men torn into his skin. He did this, knowing that in just a few days, he would be sitting at the right hand of God, perfectly renewed and in all of his glory. Because of this reason, we should not grow weary, get tired, loose the flame, and feel defeated. Because of the wondrous rescue mission Jesus did for us, we need to be running.
We can do this, knowing in full faith that “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” He did not leave me when I was in complete rebellion against Him. He did not forsake me when I was hurting and in despair. He isn’t unaware of your trials right not, and if you’re in waiting, keep praising. He’s coming. If you find strength and comfort in worship, listen to this song. It’s all about HAVING to believe when things are not going right and HAVING to praise when time and time again, you mess up. Look to the Mountain of Zion (Jesus) – Hebrews 12: 18-28. This mountain is no longer something we should be afraid of or even not allowed to enter. This mountain is fully aware of your sin yet loves you even more.