Faith or Flaws of Character?

Hebrews 11:1-12 (ESV)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

On Thursday, we discussed the link between faith and holiness. We are called to be holy. We are also therefore, called to have faith. As it says above, "without faith it is impossible to please God." And I am certain that you and I want to please God. You would not be reading this if you didn’t.

Faith gives us hope when things are tough. Faith comforts us when things go wrong. Faith reminds us that God is sovereign, and He can do anything If you struggle with keeping your faith fresh or strong try reminding yourself that God loves you, and that He will help you through. Sometimes our own insecurity is our own worst enemy. Faith is exercised when we tell ourselves that God is with us, and that He will not leave us.

Abraham was a man of great faith, yet he was still afraid a couple times and sinned in his doubts. Read Genesis 12:10-20 about how he handled his fear when he went to Egypt. Hint: He did not handle it correctly.

And yet, overall, God commended him, in this chapter of the book written to the Hebrews, as a man of faith. So let us be like Abraham when he was faithful, and not in his doubts. When things look bleak, and the devil brings doubts, remind yourself that God is still in control and that He will get you through this too.

God loves each one of us. He loved us while we were still sinners, and sent Jesus to pay our penalty. He gives us His Holy Spirit to guide and direct us, if we will but pause, pray, and listen for His guidance. Trust Him. He will not leave or forsake us. He does not guarantee a painless or trouble free life, but He does promise that He will stay with us and help us.

May you feel His presence in your life today. May you listen to the soft, quiet voice of God and not the devil’s loud doubts.

by Virgil Stripes

photo: Abraham in faith, prepared to sacrifice his son, and the Angel of the Lord stopped him, and provided a ram for the sacrifice.

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