Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (Hebrews 11:6-7)
God appeared to Noah, and told him, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark as I instruct to you.” Upon hearing of God, he started building an ark in the middle of a dry land against a common wisdom. It must have been very difficult to him. Many of his friends and relatives came and tried to persuade Noah to stop his craziness of building the ark. However, Noah was persistent with faith. He believed God’s warning against events as yet unseen. He followed the God’s instruction with faith while demonstrating his absolute obedience to God. So Bible recorded “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:22) Faith is the conviction of things not seen, and the substance that we hope for.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8)
One day, God appeared to Abraham, and said to him, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” Abraham left his country without knowing where he was going. He just believed God and His promise: “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” So Abram went, as God had instructed him. He was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Of course, there was no Internet, no Google search engine, no TV, nor a phone to call, to search or browse about the Promised Land. But by faith, he went on.
He made a long journey from Haran to the Promised Land (i.e., Canaan), which was about 500 miles (about 800 km). The journey was not easy. It was difficult and full of the unexpected and dangers. He had to go through unknown foreign lands. When he arrived at the Promised Land, he found that nothing was waiting for him. Only was the promise of God what he had. Even so, he was not deterred. God saw his faith, and appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” By faith, again he believed what was told by God. So he built an alter to God and worshipped God. What a faith!
God did not stop there. God continued testing and hardening Abraham’s faith. Abraham did not let God down. By faith Abraham offered up Isaac, although he was told by God, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.” In his heart, Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. God stopped at the last moment, and saved Isaac. For Abraham’s point, he effectively did receive his son back from the dead. Abraham had never lost heart on the promise given by God – you will be the father of a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them. (Heb 11:12)
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Noah pleased God because he did all that God commanded by building a huge ark in the middle of a land despite of all kinds of ridicules and persuasions from his friends and relatives. Abraham pleased God by believing the promise of God even though he was able to neither see nor touch the promise.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith is the reality of what we are hoping for, and the proof of what we do not see. Through faith, we can see what cannot be seen by our own eyes. We assure the existence of what cannot see. By faith, our heart is fully convinced the very substance of what we cannot touch. In faith, we experience true freedom, which is not bounded by what we see and touch. With faith, we overcome the world. This is the victory of faith. Therefore, God is not ashamed of being called our God. The world is not worthy of us, because we have already overcome the world by faith. Through faith, we completely assure our victory in Him. Praise the Lord! This is the secret and the power given to all those who are faithful in Him. We are more than conqueror. This truth has been proved again and again in our lives. Hallelujah! His name will be praised from now and forever.
Let’s pray together. Oh, God, please give us true faith so that we can continue our journey although we don’t see what we want to see as Abraham did. Please give us strength in you to overcome all kinds of obstacles and disapproval of those who are around us as Noah did. We want to receive the same approval of Abraham and Noah from you. We really like to please you as Noah and Abraham did. We humbly bow down and ask your loving and merciful hands on us so that we continue to be faithful in time of sorrow and laughter, joy and pain, failure and success by just fixing our eyes on Jesus on cross.
And he believed the LORD, and He counted it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)
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