Lindsey Carlson lives in Houston with her worship-pastor husband and their four active kids (all under age 10). Her home is filled with the sounds of childhood (galloping horses, swashbuckling heroes, and the occasional sibling brawl), the near-constant presence of music in some form, and volumes of great literature, old and new. You can catch her regular reflections on faith and worship at Worship Rejoices.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. 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.” Hebrews 11:1-3
the (act of being certain) of things (desired with anticipation), the (belief) in things not seen. (v.1)
The men and women of the Bible were commended by God for their honorable testimony of faith. (v.2)
We understand the universe was created by the Word of God.
So that: What is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Faith is: trusting God for the things He’s promised, even when we can’t see them.
How many times in your life has God proved His faithfulness? Even when His answer looked different than the one you were hoping for. Wasn’t it always for your good and His glory?
By Faith Abel:
“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.” Hebrews 11:4
Abel brought the LORD the firstborn of his flock. Offering God his first fruits (Ex. 13:12, Num. 18:17, Prov. 3:9). Unlike his brother Cain, who brought the LORD “some” of the fruits of the ground, Abel’s offering was acceptable to the Lord. The Lord had regard, admiration and respect, for Abel’s offering. For Cain, he had none. And this one act of faithfulness, the only act we know of through scripture, labeled Abel “righteous” in the sight of God.
Though our works of righteousness and our sacrifices do not earn us our salvation (Romans 11:5-6, Ephesians 2:5,8), God is still pleased and honored when we bring him our best. We exercise faith by giving Him the best we have to offer and trusting Him with the results.
By Faith Enoch:
‘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. 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.” Hebrews 11:5-6
This short little phrase: “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him” from Genesis 5:24 is all we see of Enoch. ButHebrews 11:5-6 makes it clear, Enoch’s life pleased God and so he was rewarded, taken away from sinful Earth to enjoy eternity with God forever. But without faith it is impossible to please God (Rom. 8:7-9, 1 Thess. 2:4, 4:1). Pleasing God, glorifies Him.
By Faith Noah:
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. Hebrews 11:1-7
God told Noah about His plan to destroy the world with a flood, wiping out all the wickedness through death, and Noah feared God with reverence. He showed respect in the way he fearfully obeyed, constructing the ark and believing God would save him and his family. Because of his faith, he condemned the world and became an heir of righteousness (Genesis 6:13-22, Luke 17:22-33, 1 Peter 3:18-22, Romans 4:13).
We, like Noah, have been offered salvation from the coming judgment of the World. Are we faithfully tending to the things God asks us to be faithful in as we wait for Christ to return and unite us with God forever in glory? God’s plan of salvation, through the blood of Christ, is a solid covenant of redemption. It can be trusted. Is the fear you face in your daily life a sinful fear of distrust, or a reverent fear as you wait for the Lord’s return?
Join me next Week as we look at the faith of Abraham and Sarah.
*Originally posted on www.worshiprejoices.com