“Now faith…” – Hebrews 11:1
Although we typically look at the first verse of Hebrews 11 as the classic definition of faith, I have recently been struck by the first two words: now faith…NOW FAITH…NOW FAITH. When is the time for faith? Now. If you have been wrestling in prayer for days, months, or ever years, for a specific burden, now is not the time to give up. Now is the time for faith.
It seems that God’s always presenting us with dreams we cannot fulfill by ourselves. That’s because He wants us to learn how to rely on Him. Not any easy task in this self-sufficient age. But we have the author and finisher of our faith to teach us how. Remember in Mark, chapter 5, how Jesus was confronted with three seemingly hopeless situations: a man with a legion of demons, a woman who had been suffering from a wasting disease for twelve years, and a ruler whose daughter had just died? Each situation appeared impossible. But now faith in God produced sanity, healing, and life. And that’s only one chapter!
All too often we believe we’ve heard from God. But invariably the exact opposite of what we expected seems to happen. This is where our faith meets the test it must if it is to develop. Abraham is promised that he will be the father of multitudes, yet Sarah remains barren. Joseph is given a dream that his brothers will bow down to him, but is sold as a slave in Egypt. Paul receives the call to be a light to the Gentiles, yet meets imprisonment, floggings, and shipwreck. People of faith are those who have learned to call forth what is not as if it were. And God, in His grace, gives us ample opportunity to embrace the lesson.
Father, please give us strength today to persevere in faith, calling forth the promises You have given us that Your Kingdom may be advanced. AMEN.
-shared from Becky Toews, New Covenant Christian Church, Lancaster, PA