GodReflection: Faith Certainties
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
The world was not worthy of them . . . They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:38-40
Worthy faith appears in what seems to be two opposite groups—the leaders and the targeted indigent. Both are called worthy.
In Hebrews eleven verse thirty-two through the beginning of verse thirty-five are the faithful who confronted injustice and evil with great courage and energy.
Names like Gideon, David and Samuel illustrated the Hebrew writer’s point. It wasn’t easy but in God they found strength to victory. With initiative grounded in trust and faith in the Almighty they moved forward. God found them to be worthy.
It is always an inspiration to witness the faith of those who seemed wire to move the reach of God’s kingdom forward no matter the personal sacrifice. These are worthy servants. They can be found across the face of the globe.
The second half of the Hebrew paragraph pictures the unknowns who failed to see victory but in their faith and trust of God they too were worthy.
Torture, jeers, flogging, chains, imprisonment, stoning, sawed in two, killed by sword, destitute, persecuted, mistreated, caves, and holes in the ground are bleak and gruesome word pictures used to describe their lack of apparent victory.
In shear admiration, the Hebrew author’s next words are “the world was not worthy of them.”
Twenty-plus centuries later their faith filled decedents still suffer in like manner hidden in dark places on our planet. They are the fulfilment of Jesus’ declaration of the blessed:
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Worthy is found within the glow of Father, Son and Spirit.
Worthy is the exact opposite of worthless. Worthless exists outside of the Holy glow. It is only within the glow that I can claim the worthy label. It too is a gift.
Jesus teaches the worthy way is the way of the cross for Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:8).
Paul exhorts disciples of Jesus in the city of Philippi: Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Cross-bearers are to become one with the Christ and take on his identity so that with the cross comes the obligation of worthy behavior.
He urges believers in the church at Thessalonica to live lives worthy of God who has called them into his kingdom.
On another occasion his prayer for the same church is that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by His power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.
Once again to be worthy is both initiated and sustained by Father God. He is the Holy glow who provides and maintains his children within the worthy sphere.
In my own walk along the history line the good news is whether I find myself among those who do their best to move the kingdom forward by faith, or among those who by faith suffer the indescribable for the sake of Jesus, I can rest assured that in the eyes of the Holy I am among those who can claim By Faith We Are Worthy.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on By Faith We Are Worthy