September 17: Focus for Living by Faith

Read 2 Peter 1:3-11 and Revelation 6:9-11

As we approach the end of our journey through this great Hall of Faith, we are faced with a challenge of our own. Tempted to remove the faith glasses and leave them for recycling, we notice a sign that reads

“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” (Hebrews 11:39-40).

We find ourselves to be included in the faith challenge with those who have gone before. All of these have lived by faith. They have died by faith. They have run to God by faith for what they would not receive. By faith, God showed them what they could not otherwise see.

Now it’s time for us to follow suit with the faith eyes He gives.

The very God who called Abraham and Rahab and Elijah and Daniel to trust Him no matter what gave us the same kinds of promises He gave to them. He did it so that we might live the way He created us to live just as they did. Real life can only be lived by faith.  Real life can only be lived by the faith that God gives for our righteousness (Ephesians 2:8). This is faith in Jesus Christ to be the true Lord of our lives.

Through Him alone we have “everything we need for life and godliness” so that we can truly live. So that we can live by faith. It’s the kind of faith that trusts God to deliver even when we don’t see how. It’s faith that believe He knows best, even when everything around us is crumbling into teeny tiny little pieces. This is faith to follow His ways even when they seem to lead straight into what looks like a whole lot of trouble.

I was with a group of college students in Kharkiv, Ukraine when I met a church whose people saw with faith eyes. We had ministered to them during a Sunday evening service, and it was their turn to encourage us. I don’t remember the exact Scripture they read, but I know it was completely unexpected. The normal encouraging Scriptures that we Americans often share with each other usually focus on God’s goodness and His grace, but the verses they shared with our groups that evening spoke of persecution and suffering. Confused as we were, we all thanked them with smiles and said our goodbyes.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized the poignancy of what had happened. Those people who had known hardship most of their lives, found encouragement in the truth that they were in the midst of God’s plan. They were focused on eternity and the promises He gave, so they lived accordingly.

Are you living like that? Can you see God’s truth no matter what? Maybe it’s time to reset your focus on the One whose perfect plan never fails.