Please begin with prayer for an open heart, before you read the passage below. Hebrews 11:11-12 – 11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
Honestly, the book of Hebrews is one of my favorite books in all of Scripture. As I spent more and more time in the word, I began struggling with the seeming disconnect between Old and New Testament. Hebrews was that link that helped bridge the two and unify Scripture in my own mind. Hebrews 11 is the ‘Faith---Hall of Fame’ and gives an amazing summary of the Old Testament and how the people of God were just that, because they lived by faith!
The phrase that really grabbed my attention as I meditated on this passage was, ‘he considered him faithful who had made the promise.’ We must clarify the pronouns---he = Abraham, Him = God. Abraham had journeyed with God for 25 years after he had initially received the promise. He had communed with God, been provided for, and seen God work in incredible ways through this time (even though Abe followed Sarah’s leading in the whole Hagar thing, but that’s another story for another time). This journey enabled Him to trust God and Abraham deemed Him as faithful.
I believe that seeing God as faithful to His promises is the root of faith and the story of Abraham (and throughout the whole of Scripture) shows that it’s faith, not knowledge that makes us right with God. Faith always catalyzes action! Abraham consistently acted on the promises of God and believed that He was faithful and worthy of his trust being placed on Him. For us, I think that we fail to act in faith, because we don’t believe that God is truly faithful. Think of something that causes anxiety/worry/stress/etc.---the root of this sin behavior is that we don’t think that God is faithful carrying out His promises to us in that moment. If we believed He was faithful, we would take steps of trust in that relationship and the Gospel message would squelch the consuming nature of those negative feelings.
It can be difficult in the middle of a situation to see that God is faithful---God can work through the good and the perceived bad, so it’s challenging to pinpoint the faithfulness in the situation. We also cannot be the definers of what faithfulness equals---He defines that and we trust that He works for the good of those that love Him.
The calling to the Christian is to not force God to start at zero on the faithfulness-meter every day. 2 things come to mind with this---1) His word is the story of His faithfulness. Spending time seeing His character and actions shows His faithfulness. We then take His promises to heart and live in those. 2) We look backwards and set stakes that are testimonies of how we have seen Him work in our lives. When we add His word and our testimonies together, we begin each day and face each trial knowing that we follow a faithful God! Then, we get to live beyond ourselves and receive identity as the child of a faithful God. The story of Abraham shows the result of having faith in a faithful God and we have the privilege of stepping out in faith on a daily basis!
Do you struggle with living like God is faithful? How would you know? How would you live differently if you consistently believed God was faithful? Do you carry testimonies of God’s faithfulness from your life forward, or do you make Him prove Himself daily? I would love to hear your journey and how this passage impacted you.