When I think of faith, my mind immediately goes to mountains in my path right now or things I have prayed for and beg an answer for. But as I read Hebrews chapter 11 today, I found myself feeling really small. Instead of praying, I found myself thanking God. Thanking Him that He gave me faith to:
*believe that He is the ONLY Creator of this beautiful universe.
*believe in the ONLY answer to our sin - His sacrifice.
*believe that faith in the one and ONLY true God saves me.
*believe that there is ONLY one sacrifice for my sin. There in NOTHING I can do to save myself.
I stand in awe as I read about Abel's faith that ended in physical death. This young man had seen nothing of the promises fulfilled and yet, he obeyed and believed. I read about Enoch, whose life was commended and ended, not yet having seen. Noah believed and his life was saved, both then and eternally.
Abraham and Sarah believed and their descendants live on still. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his ONLY son and obeyed because deep down he believed that his Yahweh could raise him from the dead. Get this! He did not know of this act happening in the past. Yet, he believed.
Moses, being raised in Pharoah's house, refused the wealth of all that entailed and allowed himself to be used by his God and the God of his people. The Israelites, Gideon, Sampson, David, Samuel. The stories continue and the faith God gave them was amazing. But the last verse of this chapter astounds me.
"But all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us, they should not be made perfect."
My gut cries, "How could they have believed? I see the Word of God and hear it. I see the fulfillment of the prophecies that they only longed to see. I have experienced the ultimate fulfillment of the Word of Life becoming flesh and choosing His death for my sin." Yet, I struggle so to believe and have faith day to day.
I look to the promise Paul reminds us of in Philippians 1:6. He will finish the work He has begun. He will bring it to completion. I thank God I don't have to conjure up this faith. It truly is a gift from my Lord.
(And remembering things like this sure do help in this journey.)