Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
What a great definition of faith!
I remember hearing a great illustration that compared our faith in God to proposing marriage. When I proposed to my wife, I did not know for sure our relationship would still be growing stronger 25 years down the road, however because of the relationship we had built up to that point I had confidence that it was a good idea!
Similarly, God built up relationships with the ancients which meant that they were willing to put their trust in him.
This flies in the face of the new atheists derogatory definition of faith – “belief without any evidence”.
This certainly does not describe the faith of the true Christian. One that is built on history and a heritage of relationships from a God who personifies relationship — in the trinity.
The writer of Hebrew’s takes us on a long trip down memory lane to remind us of the heritage of faith that we build with our own faith:
- Abel’s love offering
- Enoch’s life lived to please God
- Noah’s trust in building the ark
- Abraham, Sarah’s obedience in going to a new land and founding the nation of Israel
All these people were still living by faith when they died. (v13)
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. (v15-16)
This reminds me of a quote from last weekend’s Gong men’s day “Be encouraged, I’ve taken a peek at the last page! We are on the winning side!” (Chappo)