The Eternal Substance of Our Faith is explained in Hebrews 11 verse 1 and 2.
** Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. **
Hebrews 11:1 may be one of the most well known verses of the Bible within the Christian community. It is one of those verses that can encourage us and discourage us at the same time.
The encouragement comes from reminding us that we live a life guided by faith in God. A life that is regularly filled with trials and foggy understanding of why things happen the way they happen. Faith is what sustains us through those darker days. The list of heroes in Hebrews 11 are another reminder to be one more ‘hero’ by walking by faith and not by sight through another season of problems and hardships.
More encouragement comes from knowing that our faith is based on the eternal substance of it. The expectation that life after this life will be free of heartache, disappointment, pain, suffering, and loneliness keeps us looking beyond today’s difficulties. All of that heartache will disappear like dust in the wind once we are in the presence of our compassionate and Almighty God.
The discouraging side of faith is that the answers to our problems are probably not going to come today or in our own time. Faith’s answers do not come in a minute. They come in little bits over time, sometimes after a very long time. The answers and the why come after the storms, after the trials. Sometimes they don’t come until we see step into eternity.
It is also discouraging to realize where our faith falls short. In our younger years, every little problem upsets us and we lash out at God and His way of handling our life.
But as time passes, the trials become a blessing because we know that the Lord is still working in us and we have begun to see the changes.
We begin our walk with a child-like faith. A blind faith of the heart whose substance has yet to grow and flourish. As time passes, our faith matures and we accept the trials with a vision of what is yet to come and those same trials increase our yearning for it. It converts into a faith of eternal substance.
We step into each trial with the assurance that God will answer, and desire Him to rescue us quickly. But when the trial continues and there seems to be no end in sight, our faith is tested and may even temporarily fail.
These storms in life are the very gifts that the Lord sends us to purify and multiply our faith. They help us to lessen our grip on this life and increase our yearning for our true Home. We learn to let go of all those petty desires and accept the life we have before us and become grateful for it. The eternal substance of our faith is setting our sights on things above and not on things of this earth. (Colossians 3)
** But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. ** Hebrews 11;5
As human beings we are always looking for some kind of reward, even if the reward is as simple as a paycheck or a thank you. We want to know that some things that we do have value or impact others for good.
Our God is a perfect and understanding God who recognizes our needs. When He sees our faith, and our desire to know Him more, He is ready to reward us. This is another manifestation of the eternal substance of our faith.
The rewards can come from small or large blessings. And they can come as deposits in our eternal ‘bank account’.
From the day we accept Christ as our Savior, the Lord is depositing golden ‘faith nuggets’ in our heavenly accounts.
We are rewarded for our first baby steps in our walk by faith. We earn even more deposits when our faith grows because of a trial. Later, more golden faith nuggets are deposited when our faith shines in the midst of a trial. And finally, we get a boat load of nuggets when we ask for the trial and all that it can bring and ask for it in faith.
Anything we trust the Lord with that we have yet to see, or hope to see is rewarded by our just and generous God. Because faith pleases Him and He wants to give us something in return for the faith that we put in Him.
** Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. ** Hebrews 11:1,2
Each of us can look at our lives, past and present and ask ourselves how our ‘Faith Account’ is doing. How much eternal substance has our living faith deposited into it? How much evidence of our faith do others see and God see? How many times do we think the Lord has happily gone to his Heavenly Bank and filled our account with eternal nuggets? What is the true eternal substance of our faith?
Questions to ponder, no?