Encouragement from Pastor Donna
I have been thinking about Hebrews 11 a lot this week - it's known as the Faith chapter. It caught my attention when I was preparing last Sunday's sermon and thinking about the Old Testament prophets. Hebrews 11:32-40 is about them.
That led me to verses 1-2: "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Even as our confidence and hope are being challenged by the health crisis right now, we have assurance about what we do not see.
In God's unfolding plan, the folded parts remain hidden. Verse 8 says: By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
We can feel like Abraham must have felt. We don't know where we're going, either! We don't know what will happen tomorrow, or how long this will last. We are uncertain how long we will be isolated, or working from home, or keeping our kids home, or watching church online. We can feel anxious, depressed, lonely.
But we can also lean into faith, and like Abraham, obey and trust God still. God is faithful, and we can hope in Him. Faith is confidence in God, in His presence, love and care, power and sovereignty. God is King, still, even when we can't see it.
- How is your faith being challenged right now?
- What assurance do you have for the things you can't see?
- How can you turn from worry to faith?
1. Look to people. It helps to talk, text, email, call, reach out to people.
2. Look to God, in prayer and His Word. Some of my favorite Hebrews verses:
Hebrews 4:15-16: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
- Pray, talk to God, and tell Him what you need right now.
Hebrews 6:19: We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
- If it feels like you're in a tiny boat on a stormy sea, Jesus is the anchor.
Hebrews 12:1-3: ... fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
May you fix your eyes on Jesus, receive grace, encouragement, hope, and not grow weary or lose heart. God is good and faithful!