Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
What is faith?
That's a question that's been posed throughout the ages.
Faith is exactly what writer of Hebrews opens "the great faith chapter" of the Bible with. His statement is one that should be considered whether you have faith or not.
I believe there is no greater definition of faith then this key scripture.
It tells us that faith has a sureness about it.
Then the rest of the chapter goes on to give us examples of men and women who had that kind of sureness.
Let's consider some examples of faith.
By faith, David went to battle before the giant Goliath. By faith Daniel would not bow his knee to idolatry and prayed openly even though he knew it would mean the lion's den. By faith the Apostle Paul traveled the known world and spoke boldly about the Lordship and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Then we have many modern examples of men and women of great faith. I think of the pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoffer who stood up to Hitler's government and died for his stand in 1945. Or Martin Luther King Jr., who chose nonviolence to oppose bigotry and protested for equal rights. Or, today as countless men and women live in daily fear of being killed for their faith in Christ. Churches are being bombed in the Egypt, Sudan and Indonesia while in China more then 600 people are arrested each week as they worship in house churches.
Still, great faith is not that removed from everyday life. By faith, a husband chooses to honor his vows even when his wife is not being all he thinks she should be. By faith, a Christian wife understands that the only way her husband will be more Godly - is by her giving him a Godly example. By faith every believer lives different than the world, knowing God's standards are right, true and lead to eternal life.
Hebrews 11:16 ( By faith)...They were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
The biblical examples of faith were looking for the savior - and Christ came. By faith they knew something better was coming and they trusted God throughout their lives.
What about you? Do you have faith? Not faith in yourself, or faith in faith, but faith in God. Do you believe the scriptures? Do you understand that this life is a tune-up for what is to come, a heavenly city?
Faith starts as you receive Christ and believe on his name (John 1:12). Faith grows as by hearing God's word (Romans 10:17).
Then faith brings hope, and biblical hope is "the expectation of coming good." There is a coming good, the goodness of God manifest in the life of all who believe and the goodness of eternal life.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.