Today we move into one of my favorite chapters in all the Bible, Hebrews chapter eleven. The idea of perseverance in the exercise of faith predominates the emphasis of this chapter, coming as an explanation of what the author states in 10:39 that we are “among those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
Hebrews chapter eleven is not as much a definition of faith as it is a description of faith and how it is fleshed out in the lives of those who choose to believe in God. True biblical faith is really a simple operation. God reveals Himself and His desires for us in some way and we respond positively to what God has revealed.
This is why James reminds us that even the demons believe (James 2:19). They grasp who God is, they just want nothing to do with following Him or obeying Him. That is the primary difference between belief and faith. Quite frankly, there is a lot of belief out there even in the church, but how much day to day faith is really being demonstrated? Maybe one of the reasons that unbelievers have very little understanding of genuine faith is because they see such little faith in action amongst God’s people. We must ask ourselves continually, are we learning more and more to walk by faith and not sight, fixated on the things unseen, not the things seen?
True faith is triumphant. It is what we see expressed and exemplified in the account of God’s people in this chapter. They were people just like you and me, but at that moment in their lives their faith in God and His promises upheld them, inspired them, and brought them through the challenges and obstacles they were facing. They are all a gigantic illustration and example of those who have faith and preserve their souls (10:39).
So, let’s begin to get a handle on this most significant aspect of our life: faith. First the writer says in 11:1 that faith is being sure; sure of what we hope for. Faith is not blind. It rests upon the surest of foundations – the character of God! The word sure literally means “to stand under.” It pictures a solid and supportive foundation. It is the ground floor of our life as Christians. It is the unshakeable confidence in God whose word is absolutely reliable and dependable. In a world of uncertainty and instability, the only sure thing we can count on is God. Why and how can we live in such confidence? Because God throughout history and throughout our own lives has given us ample evidence that He is faithful and that His word can be trusted. The ultimate sign God has given is the resurrection. Jesus predicted that three days after He was crucified He would rise from the dead and He did exactly that!
So, everything as Christians we are hoping in, we can bank on. For everything that God has promised us, He will fulfill. Biblical hope isn’t living with crossed fingers, it is living with certainty and confidence through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The foundation of God stands sure. Are you sure in God’s foundation? With this quality of faith even if the world around us is falling apart we remain stable and secure. Please read and meditate on Psalm 46.