Preparing My Heart
I believe God is. I believe God created all things. I believe God is findable. I believe God rewards those who look for Him with sincere diligence. I believe that faith pleases God; without it, no one can.
I believe faith leads to faithfulness. I believe faithfulness nourishes faith. I believe that, without God’s work in my heart, I can neither have faith nor be faithful. Thankfully, God both calls me to faith and faithfulness as well as empowers me to have faith and to be faithful. Praise God!
Making the Bible Personal
How should I respond to those who don’t have this kind of faith?
How do I want people with stronger, more effective faith to respond to me?
In real-to-life terms, what does Hebrews 11:1 mean for me and to me?
In what ways has God rewarded my search for Him?
What can I do to not fear in trying and unstable times?
If I believe Psalm 46:9 to be true, what should my faith do?
Reviewing Basic Truths
Faith need not see to believe.
Pleasing God requires faith.
God is…and He rewards the diligent seeker.
I am called to exalt God (as Abel and Enoch and Noah were thus called).
Applying God’s Word to Me
I do not understand how I can substantively touch something so intangible to me that it exists only as a hope. Nor do I understand how I can have as hard evidence something invisible and imperceptible. It seems so strange and delusional and mind-bending; foolishness, really.
Yet God calls that faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I even need faith to accept that and believe it!
So did Noah. By faith he saw the “not seen” clearly enough to act faithfully on the assignments and commands given to him by The Unseen One. For Noah, an assertion of faith would have been an unacceptable (and ineffective) substitute for a life of faithfulness. And so it is for me. Faith that fails to produce faithfulness is sterile, fruitless, and useless. I must have faith in order to be faithful; otherwise, I cannot please God.
I am so glad that God has made a way for me to please Him. Faith is that way. This faith believes that God is. And this faith also believes that God is a rewarder who recompenses each one who with diligence seeks Him. Abel and Enoch and Noah believed with that kind of faith. I want that kind of faith…because I want to please God…and because I want to find God.
I hereby declare my belief that He who is rewards those who seek Him! Now may I faithfully live consistently with that declaration.
Doesn’t that sound grand? Well, that truly is my heart’s desire and my commitment. But… What am I to do when “real life” intrudes and shakes my faith? What am I to do when the “evidence” mounts that my faith just isn’t working the way it should? To put it simply, what do I do with unbelief?
I state again that I believe that God is. And I reaffirm that I believe that God will reward me when I diligently seek Him. Then I set my heart again to seek Him yet more. And I plead with Him, “Help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24). What else can I do? Oh, yes — live faithfully by faith. When my faith staggers, may I still choose to live in faithfulness to the truth I know.
This concludes my comments based on the passage for the International Bible Lesson. To read my comments on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications, click here: The Church Is Born.