Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The ultimate test of faith is to receive nothing in this lifetime and yet believe in Christ that he is faithful and that he will fulfill his promise.

God will make everything right in the end. It may not even be in this lifetime. Many of the heroes of faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 did not receive the things promised, all these people were still living by faith when they died. They lived with the end view in mind- that there is a better city than the present one. So they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one.

These heroes of faith were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain 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...they wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

These Christians would be looked upon as pariahs, as abandoned by God by today's Christianity.

Yet the verdict of God is that these were commended for their faith.

So what is faith?

Faith is believing in Christ even when walking in darkness - when the reward of faithfulness is more darkness.

Faith is clinging on to Christ even when the bottom fell out - when the reward of faithfulness is calamity and tragedy.

Faith is trusting in Christ even when the peers turned against you - when the reward of faithfulness is rejection and betrayal.

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.