May 3rd, 2007
Trusting in someone else is risky, not safe. It requires boldness and courage, and it means that your life gets to be an exciting adventure. If you’re working in a safe reliable job, and you know where all the money is going to come from to achieve all of your goals, then maybe you’re trusting in yourself and not in Jesus. On the other hand, if you feel that God is calling you to do something outrageous, something which is far bigger than you could ever do by yourself, something which requires resources which you don’t have, something which can only happen if some sort of miracle occurs, then you might be trusting in Jesus…
The Letter to the Hebrews — Chapter 11
11:1 Faith is the essence of things that are hoped for, the inner conviction about things which are not seen. 11:2 This is what earned our ancestors God’s approval. 11:3 By faith, we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that things which can be seen were made out of things which are invisible. 11:4 By faith, Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain. As a result, he was declared righteous, and God approved his gifts. He is dead, but his faith still speaks. 11:5 By faith, Enoch was taken away so that he would not see death, and he couldn’t be found, because God had removed him. Before he was removed he was declared pleasing to God.
11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please God, because someone who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he rewards people who seek him. 11:7 By faith, Noah was moved to action when warned by God about things which could not yet be seen, and constructed a ship to save his family. As a result he unmasked the wickedness of the world, and became heir of righteousness through faith. 11:8 By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go to the place which he was to receive as an inheritance. He went, not knowing where he was going. 11:9 By faith, he lived as a foreigner in the promised land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. 11:10 He looked forward to the city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11:11 By faith even Sarah herself received power to conceive, and she gave birth to a child when she was too old to give birth, because she believed that God who had made the promise was faithful. 11:12 As a result one man, who was as good as dead, became the ancestor of as many descendants as there are stars in the sky, as many as the grains of sand by the sea shore.
11:13 All these people died in faith, without receiving the promises, but after seeing them and embracing them from a distance, and after recognising that they were strangers and visitors on the earth. 11:14 People who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 11:15 If they had been thinking of the country which they had come from, they might have had enough time to return. 11:16 But they wanted a better country, that is, a heavenly one. God is not ashamed to be called their God, because he has built a city for them.
11:17 By faith, Abraham offered up Isaac when he was tested. The man who had gladly received the promises was prepared to offer up his one and only son 11:18 about whom it had been predicted, “Your descendants will come from Isaac.” 11:19 He believed that God is able to bring the dead back to life. In a way, Abraham did receive him back from the dead. 11:20 By faith, Isaac gave Jacob and Esau blessings relating to future events. 11:21 By faith, Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped, leaning on the top of his staff. 11:22 By faith, Joseph, when his end was near, foretold the exodus of the children of Israel, and gave instructions about taking his bones with them.
11:23 By faith, Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid of the king’s decree. 11:24 By faith, Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 11:25 choosing to share mistreatment with God’s people, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a while. 11:26 He considered that suffering for the sake of the Messiah provided greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, because he looked forward to the reward. 11:27 By faith, he left Egypt, not fearing the anger of the king. He persevered because he could see what other people could not see. 11:28 By faith, he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch them. 11:29 By faith, they passed through the Red Sea as if they were on dry land. When the Egyptians tried to follow, they were swallowed up. 11:30 By faith, the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been encircled for seven days. 11:31 By faith, Rahab the prostitute didn’t die with the people who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.
11:32 What more can I say? Time would run out if I told about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets; 11:33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, ruled with justice, received what was promised, closed the mouths of lions, 11:34 put out raging fires, escaped the edge of the sword, started off weak but became strong, became powerful in battle, and caused foreign armies to flee. 11:35 Women received their dead back to life. Others were tortured, not allowing themselves to be rescued, so that they would receive a better resurrection. 11:36 Others were tested by mocking and flogging, and by being chained and imprisoned. 11:37 They were stoned. They were sawn apart. They were killed with the sword. They went around in sheep skins and goat skins, impoverished, persecuted and tormented. 11:38 The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts, mountains, caves, and holes in the earth. 11:39 All of them earned God’s approval for their faith, but did not receive the promise. 11:40 God had foreseen something better for us, so that they couldn’t finish without us.
Entry Filed under: Trust