“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.” (Hebrews 11:1-3)
I would label myself a “spoil sport” if I noted and elaborated on all the things we understand now that the writer of Hebrews (attributed to Paul) would not have understood. But there are still many things we do not understand. So let us make sure our hubris is in check and praise God for all the wonders that are still in the world.
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”
All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.” (Verses 8-16)
What do you do “by faith” beloved reader? Where and when do you step out not knowing where the steps will lead? Do you deal in this reality, and put your hope in this world? The times are rugged and rough, filled with violence and death. Every day it seems there is news of another tragedy. And yet . . . and yet, people step out in faith, believing that while the good and the promise is not immediately before them, it will come. And that the land and place where they are now is not their final home. Faith . . . it keeps us getting up and living through another day. Faith . . . it gives us hope that tomorrow, or the tomorrow after that, or the tomorrow in the future will be better than yesterday. And that in our “today” God is with us upholding our faith. Selah!