‘Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.’ (Hebrews 11:1)
Could you put yourself in the place of Noah, told to build a boat on the top of a hill in an area that gets hardly any rain. What would you have done when the locals started staring and saying things behind your back?
Could you put yourself in the place of Stephen, stoned to death for his faith and yet to the last proclaiming the greatness of his God?
Would you have let it get that far? Would there have even been enough evidence to convict you?
Could you put yourself in the place of Elijah telling the widow to use up all the meagre ingredients in her larder to make him something to eat, because God would provide her with an abundance of flour and oil. Or even put yourself in the widow’s place, asked to share the last bit of food she had in the house. And then there is that awful moment when the young son appears to have died and Elijah gets the blame. How would your faith have fared then?
Faith in one sense can be an odd concept, in that most people have faith in something. We probably have faith in British or American Justice, a ‘sense of fair play’ in a game. Many folks have faith in their abilities to accomplish a task or even to direct their lives in the direction they feel it should go. And there is nothing wrong with that.
But such a faith has its limits, whereas Christian faith is limitless. It is limitless because as the writer to the Hebrews states; it has its focus as much on what will be as what is, and not on self but on God.
There is a sense in which Christians are on a journey of faith from the moment of repentance and an acceptance of forgiveness and salvation. The journey can be long, building up confidence, knowledge, skills and a relationship with God and our fellow human beings. But ultimately it is a journey that despite its trials has a glorious destination.
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