Hebrews 11 is called the faith chapter. The Hall of Fame of Faith. And for good reasons. People like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the Israelites, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah (had to look that one up on Judges 11), David, Samuel, and the prophets are all mentioned in this particular chapter. Quite the list! And as I was reading I began to wonder...what was it about each of them that caused their name to be associated with faith?
And then I cam across Hebrews 11:10 and the answer seemed to leap off the page and to my heart.
The key is their foundation!
Now I've heard it said, and yes I've even sung the song...mind you this is my summary of it...and I'm singing it as I write it...
The wise man built his house upon the rock; the foolish man built his house upon the sand, and when the winds came his house went SPLAT! (Based on Matthew 7:24-27)
I'll admit it though, I've thought "Yea ok, I'll build my house upon Christ." Got it. Check...just like I was checking it off my grocery list. I don't think I've ever let the truth and weight of it sink into my heart.
In viewing this truth in such a flippant way, I've caused serious damage to myself. When the storms came, I've fallen apart under their weight. My foundation was built by my own human hands and they were not strong enough to withstand the pressures of this world. And here I was thinking I my faith was so strong!
As the truth of real faith cut open my heart, God in His love has been disciplining me and redirecting me to just Who the author of a foundation of faith really is. Him! When He is the architect and builder, the pressures of this world fade away. Yes they try to tear apart the foundation but God's Sovereign hands hold it together and nothing, NOTHING, of this world can tear apart His handiwork.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. ~Hebrews 11:13
These people of faith stood strong even in the face of unfulfilled promises! They still trusted, believed, hoped and chose to put their faith in God. Their foundation was solid. Their lives were built by and upon Christ! Can I say the same?
As God tears down the foundation I built and builds His foundation in me, my questions is, in the end when faced with the possiblity of unfulfilled promises...will I still choose to trust and believe Him? I hope I can say yes, but really, if I'm honest with myself...will I really be able to say that?
God has placed promises in my heart, written them upon His foundation in my soul. If I never see them fulfilled, will I still have faith and hope as I take my last breath?
As I've been pondering this, God brought the answer.
And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth...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. ~Hebrews 11:13-16
Since the people of faith in Hebrews 11 built their foundation upon Christ and not this world, their focus was not on the world, but on eternity. Instead of dwelling on the unfulfilled promises, their eyes were on the promises that God had awaiting them in heaven.
My eyes, instead of looking at the unfulfilled promises, need to be on eternity. Faith and hope are built up by Christ so that I may worship Him, not only here on earth, but for eternity. God does not build my life upon His foundation just so that I may have a wonderful, happy life on earth but so that I may praise, worship and glorify Him...now and forever. My life should not be lived for just the worldly promises. Yes, experiencing them is wonderful...but not my goal. The people listed in Hebrews 11 were marked for their faith and trust in God...no matter what, no matter the cost. I wish and hope that in the end, my life will be marked by a desire and faith to do what God asked of me...no matter the cost, even if it means leaving this world with unfulfilled promises. Let my eyes be fixed upon Him and what He has awaiting me in eternity, and let my foundation be marked by a faith in Him.