Hebrews 11:1–3 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Before our beginning there was only God and the Heaven He resided in and where He created the angels and other beasts to serve Him. It is indeed what we cannot see that exists. It is not because we have faith that God exists, rather God exists to give our faith conviction. Faith is only futile when one’s faith resides in a manmade identity or something that truly does not exist or is impossible or improbable.
Faith then in what is real, yet unseen, brings us closer to God as we hope in His promises. However, those who do not know God’s word do not know His promises that He made for that which He created in His image. We are man/woman, soul, and spirit. We are father/mother, son/daughter, and spiritual. We are three in one and God is three in one, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Faith plays a very important part in our lives as it gives us something to hope for. We hope that there is more than just this life in time. So, we hope for the promise of life eternal, life everlasting. What is more important to realize is that we all hope that we receive an everlasting forgiveness. The forgiveness to hope for is from our Father in heaven that leads us to that eternal relationship with Him. Without God’s forgiveness we are doomed to the bottomless pit.
So, we worship God not as an idol but as a true entity that gives us true hope. Hope is having faith in all that is already accomplished. Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit along with God’s holy word, builds our faith as we see His promises unfold within His written Word. God actually gives us proof for His promises as we learn about the promises already kept.
Hebrews 11:4 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.
Faith drives our relationship with God as it did with Abel. Abel’s offerings were the best of his herd and given from his heart of love for God. Abel did not hold back his giving but rather gave back to God in the abundance of what had God gave him.
It was not that Cain gave God vegetables and God did not like vegetables, but that Cain did not give from his heart but gave because he felt he had to. Cain’s giving was as if he hoped to get something in return. What Cain desired was to have the same relationship with God as Abel had, however Cain did not want to put in the effort that Abel had put in. Cain’s love for God was not quite all there.
Hebrews 11:5–6 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken, he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
We might all wish we could have the faith that Enoch has. (Genesis 5:24). I say “has,” because Enoch lives with God and still has faith in God, probably even more than he had when he first walked with God. It would also be great if we could please God with our action, thoughts, and words all of our days.
God certainly wants us to walk with Him and therefore wants us to please Him. However, God wants us to be honest with Him and with ourselves. In other words, believe, confess, repent, and have faith in the mercy and grace of God.
We might have the faith of Enoch when we meet our creator and realize we are in our promised eternal life. Until that happens, we gain faith through God’s works in answering our prayers, in His word, and with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 11:7 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
I think this would take a lot of faith to have God give you such a project as to build something so great and humongous. If what some of our experts say is true, the people back at the time had not seen rain, but maybe just lived in constant humidity. It would also take a lot of faith to build an ark to save your family and a remnant of every animal. Though we are not called to take on great feats of faith, we are called to have faith that our creator not only loves us but wants to keep us forever and ever.
Hebrews 11:8–10 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
Have you heard a voice telling you to pick-up and move to someplace you know nothing about? Abraham did. God speaks to us every day, it’s that we just don’t put ourselves in the mind and spirit to listen to God every day. It is not that we are purposely trying to ignore God, rather we are so tied up in living our lives by our own power that we forget to let God in. You know, “Let go and let God.”
Hebrews 11:11–12 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
Many people try to put God in the same box as themselves. “If we can’t do it then God can’t do it either.” We forget that God created everything out of nothing. God created mankind in His Image, man tries to recreate God in man/woman’s image.
If God can create us, the earth, and the heavens, not to mention all of the angels and beasts that reside with Him, then God can accomplish helping a woman in her 90s have a baby. Not to mention having a man live in a fish for three days.
Hebrews 11:13–14 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.
We all seek our place in this earth wanting our own property, house, and some luxuries. But this is only a dream for the earthly things. We should aspire to hope and want those things that are heavenly things. God is the heavenly thing, Jesus Christ is our treasure, the Holy Spirit is our outward clothing, and eternal life is our reward we receive but don’t deserve. If this is all I receive, I will be a very joyous man. This is what our loving God wants for all.
Hebrews 11:15–16 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
This is what Jesus Christ set out to do. Jesus taught us about the Father. Jesus taught us what the Father wants for us. Jesus introduced us to the Holy Spirit.
Jesus suffered and died so that we can receive the gift of eternal life through forgiveness. Jesus was resurrected so that we could see eternal life, and Jesus ascended so that we would know He is the way. And Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father to assure us of God’s grace and mercy; the love of God proclaimed. Amen.
Written By Pastor Curtis A. May