Monday 30 October 2017

Bible Book:

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (v. 1)

Hebrews 11:1-7 Monday 30 October 2017

Psalm: Psalm 112



No one knows for certain who wrote the letter to the Hebrews,but it is clear that those who received it had knowledge of the OldTestament patriarchs and their stories. They would also besecond-generation Christians and, in contrast to those who hadknown Jesus, would need more reliance on faith because they had notwitnessed any of the events surrounding his life. By the time thiswas written there had already been some persecution of Christiansand it was becoming clear that it would continue and even grow.

So it was vital that this community of believers receivedencouragement for their faith. They were living in troubled timesand they needed to be reminded that many others had faced danger,discouragement and persecution, but had trusted that God would bewith them throughout their experiences. That repetition of thewords, "by faith" is an affirming reminder that none of thosepeople knew for certain what would happen to them. All they knewwas that they believed God was urging them to take a particularcourse of action, and they would cope with whatever happened.

Because danger, discouragement and persecution are still presenttoday, it may be difficult to accept the 'God is on our side -nothing can harm us' attitude that can be the carelessly easyapproach that some Christians take. Those fleeing from persecutionmay have hope wiped out by fear. But there is still encouragementin these examples of people who had faith in God no matter whathappened. They were diverse characters in different situations, buttheir common belief was that God would be with them and that faithwas justified.

The writer to the Hebrews would be fully aware of Jesus talkingabout faith moving mountains (Mark11:23) and this section of the letter is devoted to examples ofthis happening. What an encouragement!

There is no certainty in faith.
How can there be?
Faith is not knowing,
but hoping, and working with that hope
to make a better world for all.
Without faith, very little changes.
With faith?
Get those mountains moving!

To Ponder

  • Is there a particular person who has inspired you as an exampleof faith? Who are they and why are they an inspiration?
  • When your faith wavers, as it does for everyone at some time,where do you turn for encouragement?
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