Today I read Hebrews 11 again. This chapter is often called the Faith Hall of Fame. I want to take a moment to look at a few things this chapter says about faith.
1) Biblical faith is in a certainty.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
Biblical faith is not "a hope and a prayer" as popularly seen. Biblical faith is not a based on a maybe. Biblical faith is SURE and CERTAIN of what we do not see. Biblical faith believes the promises of God as cold hard facts and it won't be convinced otherwise.
2) Who faith is in is of upmost importance.
"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." Hebrews 11:3
We have faith in a God who can do the physically impossible. God took nothing and created something. More than that, God took a bunch of nothing and made everything... and He did it with a vocal command. He spoke and the universe came into being. The fact that this is who I have faith in makes my faith reasonable. It's the difference between having faith in the Cleveland Browns or the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl times infinity. God is the ONLY one in all of the universe worth giving our unabated faith.
3) Faith comes to God to get, not to give.
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and the He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
Faith believes that God is so much greater than us that we couldn't possibly give to Him. He has no lack that He needs us to fill. We, however, when we believe that He exists will find that He is so wonderful that we must take from Him. We come to the masterpiece of masterpieces to view and wonder not to add a doodle. We come to the river of life not to pour our own water in but to drink.
4) Faith is manifest in obedience.
"By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family." Hebrews 11:7a
God told Noah that a massive flood was coming. Noah believed and therefore acted accordingly. Our faith is manifest in obedience. If we have faith that God is who He says He is then we must act accordingly. Our faith in His wisdom and honesty requires that once we believe His direction is right, we follow it. I had someone recently say that they like Christianity but they don't like the idea of someone telling them what to do. Well, if you really have faith in God as He presents Himself then you'll believe what He says is best for you. If Noah didn't have an active faith he would have drown.
5) Faith endures despite the outcome.
In Hebrews 11 we see champions of faith who did amazing things. They survived lions, fires, swords, raging armies and more. But we also see the seemingly opposite:
"...Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might have a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated... the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground." Hebrews 11:35b-38
The group above is included in the Faith Hall of Fame. Faith isn't fooled by the circumstances. Those who had faith survived persecution. Those who had faith died horrible deaths. See, facing adversity is not a sign of a lack of faith. Faith is being sure of what is unseen even if what is seen doesn't seem to jive with it.
Have faith. Let your faith be built on certainties. Let your faith be in the Almighty God. Let your faith draw you to drink from the deep wells of God. Let your faith be manifest in obedience. Let your faith endure regardless of the outcome whether "good" or "bad".
Have faith today.