I’ve had a lot of time to think about home in the past month, but especially in the last week. We are in a new home. In a new city. With a new job.
Some people allow these things to define them. Where they live. Where they work. How much money they make. What their house, cars, children, pets and even what they themselves look like.
And they allow these things to define who God is.
A friend and I talked recently about Hebrews 11 – commonly known as the Faith chapter or the Hall of Faith since it not only defines faith, but also lists a host of familiar characters who lived by faith: Abraham, Moses, Noah, Sarah, Rahab, etc.
We talked about how most teachers focus on these heroes of faith who were rewarded – in a sense – due to their faithfulness: Abraham given a son with the promise of a nation of offspring. Moses leading his people out of slavery. Noah and his family rescued from the flood. Sarah, barren for 90 years, given a child. Rahab rescued from death by the enemy.
All of them in stressful circumstances who chose to obey God and were blessed for it.
Then we talked about the ‘others’. The ones talked about later in the chapter who remain unnamed, but mentioned because they, too, were faithful. Faithful through beatings, being stoned, sawn in two, put to death with the sword and other terrible experiences.
Could they say they were blessed or rewarded for their faith?
And then comes our real point…. What is our reward for faith? What is our faith in? Is it in the fact that God will rescue us from bad things? That we will be spared painful circumstances or untimely deaths?
Our reward for faith, or our better resurrection, as talked about in verse 35, is escaping an eternity apart from our creator. An eternity apart from all that is good. Our reward is being with God!
We get so wrapped up in our physical circumstances that we become angry and entitled when God allows us to go through difficult circumstances. We wonder what we did wrong, or why God showed up too late, or why He didn’t show up at all.
Our faith is in a Santa-Claus god who checks his list and gives lumps of coal to those who weren’t good enough leaving us feeling jilted when we believe we are ‘doing everything right’ and bad things still happen to us.
The reality is there is nothing we can do to make God love us more… treat us better… or bless us in physical ways. And there is nothing we can do to cause Him to love us less. Whether we think He loves us more or less on a given day is based on how we feel, not on how He feels.
He loves us because of who He is. Period.
Our faith should be in who He is… not on changing circumstances. It should be based on what He has done for us already on the cross. Based on the fact that we could never stand in His presence without the purity of Jesus covering our sins. When we understand this fully, we know we are already truly blessed.
Romans 5:7-8 “For one will hardly die for a righteous man: though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.“
Acts 16:31 “…believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
Very nice post. Lest we NEVER forget we NEVER go thru anything alone God is ALWAYS with us.
i miss you, and hope on our furlough home next summer we can come see you in Pittsburgh! That would be super fun!!!!
nice post. I know a lot of ppl that firmly believe in a reward-santa claus god and its just not that way. xs
anyway–i am in pittsburgh too. we moved around alot from various cities. Its hard adjusting to new places. I hope things are going well for you guys.
Thank you so much for writing this and sharing. Your words were written so well and they are so true and I needed this tonite!
patti in indiana
Great post! I needed to read that today!