“Faith is … the conviction of things not seen”
is how Hebrews 11 starts. It is a familiar chapter to all regular Bible readers; it selects examples of men and women who have lived by faith, it praises them for this. They lived with a God given vision of
“events as yet unseen”.
Certain things in the immediate future we can be nearly certain of – that there will be another day tomorrow. We are maybe planning for the Christmas holidays with reasonable confidence! Nevertheless we will read later this week the words of James,
“you who say … tomorrow we will go into such and such a town … yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life?” (4:13,14).
Yes, what is your life – unless you live by faith! Today’s list of faithful men and women tells us
“these all died in faith” (verse 13) “so that they might rise again to a better life” (verse 35).
They lived with
“the conviction of things unseen” (verse 1).
We specially noted, as appropriate to the circumstances in which we live, verse 7 – we read that
“by faith Noah being warned by God of events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark”.
We are not asked to construct an ark, but Noah did not just do that.
Later we will read that Noah was
“a preacher (or herald) of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5).
Let us note those lives of faith we are in a position to emulate.
God’s word warns of “events as yet unseen” that are to come on our world. The question we must each face is whether we have real faith in God’s promises for the future, for this time of momentous crisis is surely almost upon us and will test the quality of our faith. We show our faith by how we act – as we will read in James shortly (see 2:14-26).
Remember Christ’s parable about those who will say to him on that day,
“you taught in our streets”
“knock at the door”
“he will answer, ‘I do not know where you come from’” (Luke 13:25-27).
Those with genuine faith are establishing a relationship with Jesus now.