“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” —Hebrews 12:1-2
Hebrews 11 speaks of three things we need to know about God so that we have the confidence to place our faith in Him. Verse 6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists....” Regardless of what we see and experience, the nature of our faith is such that it rests entirely in a God who is.
Secondly, “…and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). God does not reward those who want Him to meet their needs with little regard for His will, but those who earnestly seek Him for who He is. In Scripture, the best work of God in people’s lives was often accomplished through circumstances they would have done anything to avoid. True faith in God is not for things that will bring comfort and ease, nor for any preconceived notions of what God may or may not do in our lives. It is in God Himself.
Unbelief is interpreting God by our circumstances, which says if they are good, then God is good, but if they are not good, we are inclined to doubt our faith, because what we have believed about God has not measured up to what we expect of Him. Faith looks into our circumstances and interprets them by what God is already doing. Faith that wholly trusts God in every circumstance is a faith God rewards.
Thirdly, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” (Hebrews 11:3). God made the visible from the invisible, and this applies to our lives. We often do not see the hand of God where we would like to. We do not see His ways, nor can we fathom the depth of His wisdom. But what we do have is a God who brings the visible out of the invisible, and many times in ways that will astound us.
We believe God exists, that He is a good God who rewards our faith in Him, and that He brings the visible out of the invisible. This is how Jesus lived on earth. Hebrews 12:2 continues, “For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus saw what was not yet visible—millennia of people, generation after generation, reconciled to God because of His work on the cross. Faith is lived out daily by fixing our eyes on Jesus, who is not only the author and perfecter of faith, but the one who is our life.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for being my strength and my life. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You every day, especially in troubling circumstances.