Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hebrews 11 - By Faith...

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

This post, I get to answer some questions.  Suzanne asks, 'Which act of faith speaks to you today?  Why?'  and, kind of corollary to that, 'What is it about Hebrews 11 that causes you to have deeper resolved faith?'  (there are two other questions, but, wow, I'm not sure I'm ready to throw those answers up here...)

I have to admit that among all the acts of faith listed in Hebrews 11, one has always stood out to me as the most astonishing.

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, 'Through Isaac shall your offspring be named'.  He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead... -- vs. 17-19

Abraham lived for the promise of God.  His whole life had been structured around that promise.  Isaac represented the fulfillment of that promise.

And God told Abraham to give it all up...to sacrifice the son he loved and the promise he represented.

And Abraham obeyed absolutely without hesitation, because he trusted God to make it ok.

If there is anything that challenges me in that chapter, it is that.

Do I trust God enough to release to him even the promises that I am counting on...those things that I hold dear as my hope and my future?  Do I really believe that he will make it ok, even if it looks hopeless?  Even if I don't understand?

Sometimes I wonder.  I like being reasonably comfortable.  I like being secure.

And I don't like that I have this nagging doubt in my head that if God said to me that I should give it up, sacrifice it to him...I would actually have enough faith and obedience to do it.

But I remember a story in The Hiding Place...Corrie had asked her father about some future fear she had, and he responded by asking her a question...when they were taking a trip, when did he give her the ticket she needed?  Corrie responded that he always gave it to her just before they boarded the train.  Her father then assured her that her heavenly father, in the same way, would give her the grace she needed to face any challege at the moment that she would need it.

So I have to remind myself of the same thing...that if there is ever a need for me to trust God to that extent, and, you know, sooner or later there will be, he will provide the grace and faith I need to walk it out.

Even if it seems far beyond my ability at this moment.

As to the second question, I have always been amazed that this list contains people who saw God's miraculous deliverance and healing right along side of those who were not delivered or healed but suffered greatly.  They were all commended for their faith.  Yet some were answered...and some, apparently, were not. And none of them saw the ultimate fulfillment of the ancient promise.

So...my take home message is that  a 'no' answer is not a judgement on my lack of faith. It is a reflection of the purpose of God.  Somehow, 'no' accomplishes his purpose... and if I get hung up on and offended by a 'no' answer, I won't go past it and see His purpose.

Because, after all, what happens here is temporary, even if we don't see it.  The other side...His purpose...that's forever.

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