The gift of faith

May 12, 2010

When you think of and pray for the gift of faith, what comes to your mind?

For the patriarchs, faith was more than having confidence that God was going to heal them or save their friends. It was much more than knowing that money for the bill would come in at the last minute. Hebrews 11, the great “hall of faith” chapter, gives us a glimpse into God’s ultimate purpose in giving the gift of faith. It always resulted in a steadfast confidence in the resurrection of the body and the Holy City returning to the earth, where God and man would dwell together once again in perfect communion without hindrance.

In Hebrews 11:1, the writer tells us that faith is the “substance of things hoped for” and the “confidence of things not seen”, and then develops those “things” in the following verses. Though these men and women undoubtedly saw miracles, were provided for by God, and saw many people put their trust in the LORD, the measure of faith given to them enabled them to endure unimaginable hardship, live as a sojourner and pilgrim on the earth, and embrace death with full confidence in the resurrection. The writer ends the chapter by saying that all of the patriarchs died with a full hope and confidence in the things they had not yet seen, and then encourages us in light of their example to walk in righteousness, endure the race towards the prize, and long for our inheritance as they did.

Revelation 21-22 gives us a glimpse into the return of the Holy City, New Jerusalem, to the earth, and God dwelling with us openly once again. This reality must be what anchors our faith, just as it did the patriarchs. Every miracle, deliverance, salvation, or provision we see today must be seen as a small token, down payment, and signpost that points towards that coming Day.

My prayer is that this short little post helps to enlarge your vision. As we ask for the gift of faith, may the Lord grant us a vision for something that far exceeds miracles or great revival. May our lives reflect the confidence that He gives us as we live as strangers and pilgrims, having absolutely no lasting hope in this age and living fully for the age to come.

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