GodReflection: Faith Certainties
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
For several posts, I’ve attempted to apply flesh and blood to the deceased bones of the players in the roll call of Hebrews eleven. I’ve attempted to sense a hint of flesh and blood of the faithful in hopes that some of their God-trust might rub off on me.
Like Abraham and Moses, the faithful placed their future in God’s trustworthy hands. In every case they were called upon by Almighty God to make hard choices.
From a human point of view my faith walk stand in contrast to its beginning. God invites all to join a journey under the umbrella of His grace. The invitation comes from God Himself. It is only in my acceptance that I have the privilege of discovery along the path of faith.
It cost nothing from me to be placed on the path. The gift to belong was free of charge.
However, the costs along my trail are incalculable as I deal with its ups and downs, its slippery spots, and its crooks and turns over a lifetime.
I cannot help but reflect upon God’s promise of a new heart. He so wanted mankind to love and trust Him. Instead He encountered hard hearts of denial, disobedience and rejections.
With His gift of Son Jesus as a blood sacrifice and the resurrection to eternal life came the gift of a new heart. Could it be that the new heart is what keeps me on the trail?
Is the new heart that beats in my chest supplied by the Spirit to provide me with power to make hard choices?
Just as he reminds disciples of every age throughout history, Jesus taught that the first difficult decision would be to deny self and be ready to do so time and again as a follower: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24) and Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38).
It is in the context of the symbol of death and forgiveness that Jesus asks me to walk. The apostle Peter expresses it eloquently when he writes to the church “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
I think of Matthews detail of the death scene as it moved toward the designated place of crucifixion. As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross (Matthew 27:32).
Simon serves as a symbol of the faith-walk. I must take my turn on the pages of history “to carry the cross” of King Jesus.
So, the players of Hebrews chapter eleven strive to understand and they sacrifice to Almighty God. They go, they build, they live, they bless and they worship. Unafraid, they made hard choices, they marched and they waited.
And God rewarded their hard choice with His inclusion as worthy, His pleasure and His promise of an eternal future that will be noticeable absence of hard choices.
May God’s new heart continue to beat in you and in me with the knowledge—faith—that it will sustain us in the face of all hard choices yet to be encountered.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Faith Calls for Hard Choices