For the past two weeks we have been on a journey of reading and studying about faith. I thought that I knew about faith, but the last two weeks studying about saints of faith has broadened my perspective and understanding of faith. Below is Hebrews 11 which I had read many times before, but know when I read about the saints that came before I am truly humbled but also ashamed.
Many saints and believers from the ancient times to now lived/are living hard and challenging lives, yet they still have faith and press on toward their calling/purpose.
I live a comfortable life, I live in a country that accepts all faith, I am not concerned about hiding or going to jail because of my belief in God.
I have learned a few things:
1. Faith is about believing in God and his character
2. Faith is about leaving old things and reaching for new – God’s unseen promises
3. Faith is scary, but it can also be exciting expecting and looking for God’s promises
4. Faith is a process, a journey, it requires consistent submission, obedience and alignment of my will to God’s plans. Ouch.
5. My faith is not just for me, but for Believers, those that do not yet believe, and saints that died waiting for God’s promise (Christ, our Lord and Savior)
6. Being faithful is impossible when I choose to listen to me, instead of God.
7. I must love God more than anyone and anything.
So today concludes this study series on faith. I have learned so much and I hope that you have as well. If you missed any of the previous posts, you can go to @notetoselfwithbrindadevine on Facebook and read them there.
This morning I read Hebrews 11 and the words seem fuller as I apply what I have learned about faith. And I encourage you to read it again as well.
Thank you God for love, understanding and peace as we live lives of faith and purpose.
Inspirational messages, www.purpose8institute.com
New International Version
Faith in Action
11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings.And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen,in holy fear built an ark to save his family.By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance,obeyed and went,even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents,as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations,whose architect and builder is God.11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age,was enabled to bear children because shebconsidered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead,came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one.Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,for he has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead,and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons,and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born,because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christbas of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.27 By faith he left Egypt,not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.
31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon,Barak,Samsonvand Jephthah,about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms,administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,34 quenched the fury of the flames,and escaped the edge of the sword;whose weakness was turned to strength;and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again.There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging,and even chains and imprisonment.37 They were put to death by stoning;they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword.They went about in sheepskins and goatskins,destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised,40 since God had planned something better for us so that only tog