The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of October 15-21, 2017, is Hebrews 11:1-13. This week’s passage deals with faith. You will notice the frequent use of the word. In the book of Hebrews, the word “faith” is used more times than in any other New Testament book, except Romans.
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
For by [faith—trust and holy fervor born of faith] the men of old had divine testimony borne to them and obtained a good report.
By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible.
[Prompted, actuated] by faith Abel brought God a better and more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, because of which it was testified of him that he was righteous [that he was upright and in right standing with God], and God bore witness by accepting and acknowledging his gifts. And though he died, yet [through the incident] he is still speaking.
Because of faith Enoch was caught up and transferred to heaven, so that he did not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found, because God had translated him. For even before he was taken to heaven, he received testimony [still on record] that he had pleased and been satisfactory to God.
But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
[Prompted] by faith Noah, being forewarned by God concerning events of which as yet there was no visible sign, took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance of his own family. By this [his faith which relied on God] he passed judgment and sentence on the world’s unbelief and became an heir and possessor of righteousness (that relation of being right into which God puts the person who has faith).
[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go.
[Prompted] by faith he dwelt as a temporary resident in the land which was designated in the promise [of God, though he was like a stranger] in a strange country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs with him of the same promise.
For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has fixed and firm foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God.
Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word.
So from one man, though he was physically as good as dead, there have sprung descendants whose number is as the stars of heaven and as countless as the innumerable sands on the seashore.
These people all died controlled and sustained by their faith, but not having received the tangible fulfillment of [God’s] promises, only having seen it and greeted it from a great distance by faith, and all the while acknowledging and confessing that they were strangers and temporary residents and exiles upon the earth. (Hebrews 11:1-13, AMP)
How many times is the word “faith” used in this passage? Go on! Count! Christians today are often ridiculed for their faith in an unseen God, but this is nothing new. Individuals have been ridiculed for their faith for thousands of years! It is not likely to change until Jesus returns to this earth. Do you ever pause to consider the faith required of the individuals mentioned in this passage. We know their stories, their outcomes, so their faith may not seem great, but place yourself in their position. Like you now, they did not know how their story would end, how they would be remembered. They made mistakes, mistakes which they probably wished the entire world would not know. But we do know. We can take comfort in their faith and in their mistakes. They too struggled with their faith, but we remember them because they pushed on and kept their faith. As you mediate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, consider your own faith. How do you show it to the world around you? How can your faith motivate those around you?