Last evening, I was given an opportunity to share in our weekly young adults’ small group meeting (Our leader, Ate Merly went out with the other ladies from the women’s network for a day out that’s why I was prompted. Nyahaha!)
Anyway, even if that was rushed a bit (I was informed yesterday morning), I did not decline since I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to share a topic I was supposed to share a few weeks back but was not able to due to weather changes and other natural occurrences I have encountered (LOL).
I talked about faith. Few months back, I began reading Philip Yancey’s book Disappointment with God and gained a whole lot of insight on a lot of things, particularly when God doesn’t seem to show up when we need him most. I was particularly moved on his discussion on where we should base our faith.
As I began with my sharing I asked, “Yes, we know that it requires faith from our end to receive God’s promises, but what if we don’t receive anything that we hope for? Should our faith waver?”
Hebrews 11 has always been the best reference for the men and women who exuded faith despite their circumstances. Before, I thought that all these people were blessed from the beginning of their calling up to the end of their lives; I thought wrong.
Yes, there were mighty men and women of God who were really blessed. To quote from vv. 33 to 35a:
“… who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again.”
But then again, not everyone did. Some experienced the worst; others don’t deserved what they have gone though. To quote a passage from Hebrews 11, vv. 13 says:
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.”
Some people who were heroes of faith did not receive everything that God has promised; they even received the opposite. To quote further vv. 35b to 37:
“Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated…”
Yet, these people, who were tagged heroes, held on to the promise that God had for them. These promises may not be right away given to them, some were not of this lifetime, but for sure, those promises that they held on to were those that will SURELY happen. They viewed disappointments as something temporary and a preparation for something better. They understood that they are strangers of this world; they knew their identity that’s why they did not lose hope; further, they did not lose faith in God.
Hebrews 11: 39 to 40 says,
“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
After my sharing, I gained really important and true insights from the people in the group but these two stood out:
- God answers us not based on what we need but what He wills. This is not to power trip on us but because He knows what’s best for us. He wants us to be excited for what He has in store for us; and,
- Faith as we know it, is not just trusting God; it is something far greater than any discouragement, than any persecution. It is constant. It does not depend on circumstances. It does not depend whether God answers our heart’s desires or not; but it makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.
So everytime I lose hope, oh well, what more proof should I need? Faith is not an excuse for me to force God to do what I want but it is a hope on what He has promised me. After all, I am not called His daughter for nothing. 🙂
Image courtesy of Virtue Radio Network
Bible passages from Bible Gateway