Have you ever really stopped to ponder the beginning of the famous faith chapter? I mean really think about it.
We memorize verse one.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Then we look at verse two and know we’re about to read about all those "men of old."
But, then I think we do a little of skipping. We glance over verse three on our way to reading about those "men of old," and we don’t really stop to ponder what it is really saying.
Stop and think about those words. Is that not outlandish? Everything in existence was made out of invisible stuff? I mean, I know that evolution is a little wacky (okay, so a lot wacky), but are our creationist ideas really any more down to earth? If we really stop to think about it, believing that God made everything out of nothing is really, really, really mind-boggling.
Yet, we accept it without question. Oh, we may question the little details. We may debate young and old earth. We may wonder how long those first seven days really were. But, when it comes down to it, we readily believe that God created the earth out of nothing. Period.
Moving on through the chapter, we don’t really have trouble with the other outlandish stories either. I know that there are theologians, preachers, and even every day Christians out there who doubt the miraculous stories of Scripture. But, for the most part, if we claim to believe the Bible, we also automatically accept these stories as fact. Enoch not dying, but being swept straight up into heaven. The flood. Abraham and Sarah giving a birth to a child who, at their ages, should have been their great or even great-great-grandchild. The miracles of the Exodus. The conquest wonders. And the author of Hebrews only hints at the phenomenal things we read of the period of the judges or the acts of the prophets. We marvel at the hand of God, but we do not question that these things happened. And when others do question these stories, we reject their ideas and teachings – and rightfully so. God’s Word is true, and these things happened.
There’s something that bothers me about our faith in the truth of all of these supernatural stories. Read the last two verses of the chapter with me.
And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40
For all of these wonderful, miraculous things, none of these people actually saw what they were truly seeking. They never saw their salvation. But, it’s different for us. Think of how much we really have. We have their stories to show us what an amazing God we serve. But, we also have the fulfillment of it all. We have Jesus! We have salvation! We don’t have to go through all of the preparation and the years of waiting. We don’t have to be overwhelmed by the details of the law. We are saved.
So, what bothers me about that? Our fickle faith. We automatically believe all of these amazing stories. We know that we have salvation sealing our eternity. Yet, we doubt over little things every single day of our lives. And I mean really little things.
My prayer for myself is that I will remember Hebrews 11:3 every single time I doubt, whether it’s over something big or small. I pray that I will mentally run through the heroes of faith and remember that I have so much more than they did. They only dreamed of seeing the salvation I know and live every day of my life. May I remember them.
And may I have solid, not fickle, faith.