The Faith of a World Changer: Hebrews 10:37-11:2
“37) For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. 38) But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. 39) But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. 1) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2) For by it the men of old gained approval.” Hebrews‬ ‭10:37-11:2‬ ‭
Sometimes it is important to skip a chapter division. This is one of those occasions. Notice that the context is talking about faith. So what is faith? What does it mean to live by faith?
Faith is often defined as “a complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” In the case of Christianity it is complete trust in God and His promises to the point that it becomes life changing. Our faith in God becomes the basis of our value system and our future hope of eternal salvation.
But in Hebrews 11:1-2, the writer adds another dimension to our understanding of faith. It becomes the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In other words, our faith becomes the fulfillment of God’s promises until He fulfills them. Our faith becomes our reality until the promised reality comes to pass.
But faith is only as good as the person or object it is placed in. Faith in faith is vain. Faith in a worthless person will lead to total disappointment. There are two questions that remain. 1) Is God worthy of our trust? 2) Is God capable of keeping His promises? In other words, is God trustworthy?
When these questions are answered affirmatively, faith becomes life changing. Faith activates the power and promises of God in our lives. Faith becomes our umbilical cord to God.
The focus is not so much on the amount of our faith as it is on the character and ability of God. We are limited, but God is limitless. We are sinful, but God is holy. We are flesh, but God is Spirit. We can invent, but God can create. We are mortal, but God is eternal. We are restricted to time and space, but God is omnipresent. He is all present. We know very little, but God is omniscient. He knows all things. We are weak, but God is omnipotent. He is all powerful.
So based on the above comparison, is it foolish to trust in God? Is faith in self or mankind more capable of an eternal outcome than faith in God? Are human promises more reliable than Divine promises?
I remember sitting in a philosophy class when the professor said, “faith is nonsense!” Before you react, it is important to hear the rest of the story. He went on to explain that faith is nonsensical. It is beyond the five human senses. You cannot see it, hear it, taste it, smell it or touch it… but faith is both real and powerful. Faith is not irrational, but it is only as good as the person or object it is placed in.
That realization had a profound impact on me. From that point onward my goal was no longer conjuring up more faith, but rather increasing my knowledge of God and my understanding of Jesus Christ. I quickly understood that the problem was not my small faith, rather it was my small view of God accompanied by an inflated view of man. This is not only the terminal disease of the atheist and agnostic, it is also the sad prognosis of many Christians.
Notice Hebrews 11:2; “For by it the men of old gained approval.” Buckle up, the writer is about to illustrate how faith in God worked in the lives of many Old Testament saints who changed the course of human history. Becoming a world changer starts with your view of God!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global