Faithfulness Pleases God
The central message of Hebrews 11 has captivated my mind these last weeks since Shannon Hurley was with us: the topic of faithfulness. Verse 1 defines what faith is: the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. “By faith” is repeated 17 times in this chapter. By faith, we believe that God created the visible universe by His invisble word. Faith is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8-9) and is just as necessary from the moment we first savingly believe in God as it is in our daily living for Him and even in our death (vs. 13). Everything we do should be done in faith. Why? Because verse 6 says, “It is impossible to please God without faith.” Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses’ parents, Moses, the people of Israel, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets are all examples of people that made life decisions by faith.
Here’s a question to ask ourselves: can we be committed to someone and not be faithful to him or her? I would say yes. There is a difference between having a purely committed marriage and a faithful one. Faithfulness deals with our core motive and heart behind our decisions, whereas a commitment is only seen at the surface level. I am deeply encouraged and deeply convicted by the faithful lives of Hebrews 11 amidst horrific persecution and death (vs. 36-37). Even though they had not yet received what was promised in the gospel of Jesus Christ and were not yet given the Holy Spirit as a seal and pledge, they believed, then acted by faith. Let us now think in context of our lives: decisions in our marriages, work, school and church. Are we faithful to God or merely committed to a repetitive practice or covenant? Let us consider the two small words “by faith” in all that we do; laying aside sin and looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.