About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

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Another Look at Faith    

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see ..." (Heb. 11:1 )  This whole chapter of the book of Hebrews deals with what we call the "heroes of faith", all of those Old Testament people who were very strong in faith.  We are told to emulate these men and women.  I am wondering though if these men and women lived today if they would be considered people of faith.  In this day when in some circles faith is linked to positive thinking and believing things into existence, I wonder about the people listed in this chapter. 

Why do I wonder?  Hebrews 11:13 says, "All these people were still living by faith when they died.  They did not receive the things promised..."  Verse 39 says, "These were all commended for their faith yet none of them received what had been promised..."  I do believe that faith is an action word.  Faith is stepping out and doing the work of the Lord, yet what happens when faith's results or goals do not come about? 

I think some of these people might be put down in our day as people with little faith because they didn't receive the promise.  We might say, "they needed more faith, or stand stronger and be a people of faith".  

The whole idea of faith in this chapter is one of perseverance.  As verse 13 says, "All these people were living by faith when they died".  They did not give up.

I do realize that some promises did not come about for those people because they were for a time to come in the New Testament era.   This does not negate the thought of perseverance in this chapter, and that they still died without the promise.

In this day of "ultra faith" lets give a cheer for those who are still hanging in, are still in faith, even though they have not received the promise.


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