Hebrews 11, 1-3
Something to read
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
New Revised Standard Version
To read the King James Version, click here
Something to think about
Faith is often spoken about as if it were a woolly, sentimental concept which is ideal for comforting inadequate and highly impressionable people. The writer to the Hebrews wouldn’t recognize such a description of faith!
For him or her (for we have no idea who wrote this amazing letter) faith is the most solid ground on which you can build a life, and it gives a person a firm hope for the future. The chapter that follows is full of wonderful stories of people who built their lives on faith.
Throughout the letter the theme of hope has been an important one and here we are introduced to an impressive group of people who, through the centuries, had lived their lives with a confidence in God and a certainty about the future. In chapter 6 verse 19 the writer refers to hope as being like an anchor that is both sure and steadfast.
Hope is in short supply in our society at the moment. Doom and gloom predominate and the prognostications about the future get more scary by the day.
We need to be careful not to get sucked into this thinking, but allow ourselves to focus our lives on the God who is the source of a hope that can never be taken away from us.
Something to do
On many occasions today there will be references to the future. It may be in comments about the economy, the 2012 Olympics or where you are going on holiday! When the subject comes up why not remind yourself of the hope that our faith in God gives to us? And if the subject comes up in conversation why not explain why you have confidence in the future?
Something to pray
God of hope, we thank you that are like an anchor in our lives. Thank you that, whatever today might throw at us, we are totally secure in your hands. We gladly renew our faith and confidence in you and pray that you will enable us today not merely to live with the joyful knowledge of your presence in our lives, but to share it with others.
We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
Today's contributor is the Rev Jonathan Edwards, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.