Stepping Out On Faith
Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
The great faith chapter of Hebrews leads us into a faith relationship with God. We cannot explain everything that there is to know about God, about Christ’s incarnation, about the activity of the Holy Spirit, for the things of God are much higher than the things of humans. Faith means that we believe or trust in things we cannot see, but this gives us hope.
As the chapter progresses we are reminded of those who stepped out on faith. Our ancestors made faith decisions which brought them into the story of God. They, and we, have faith to believe that all we see was created by the hand of God — created out of nothing. This is the power of the word of God, experienced by the one who steps out on faith.
Somehow this year it feels as if we have been given two New Years Days, since the actual holiday landed on a Sunday, and so today is one final day off in the holiday season. For many, tomorrow signals a return to the hustle and bustle of life, and routine. I believe there are a few parents out there who are more than grateful that tomorrow means that school starts up again! But as we step into this new year, we do step out in faith for none of us knows what the next year will have in store. We cannot see into the future, therefore we cannot make decisions based on what will be. Instead, we step gingerly into 2017, possibly with a bit of trepidation, but mostly on faith.
Most of us might like to think that we have some kind of control over what will be in our lives, and we may try really hard to exercise control. The reality is that we don't have control. Learning to live in a relationship of trust and faith in God is actually quite freeing. The people listed in the great faith chapter stepped out on faith and followed God’s leading, even when it didn’t make sense to those around them. God’s vision and perspective is so much larger than ours that insisting on our own way may mean that we miss out on what God has in store for us.
Those who stepped out on faith knew how to listen to the still small voice of God. This is the only way that we can live by faith, for we need God’s guidance. As we begin this new year, I am challenged to slow down and create enough space for quiet listening. That’s not really easy with all the noise of life. There is the distraction of all things technical! Seriously, between the television, computer, phone, iPad, etc., it’s hard to disconnect from all distractions and yet, if we are going to hear God’s voice and step out on faith, we need to be intentional about creating quiet space. Because faith is trusting and hoping and having conviction in the things that we can’t see.
We cannot see 2017 and so we step out on faith. We will have faith in something, either ourselves, or other people, or we may choose to step out on faith in God. This year could become more than we could ever imagine if stepped out on faith in the creator of all things. God isn’t revealing the future to us, he is only revealing himself and that, for the person of faith, should be enough.
Lord, as I step out into this new year, may I put my faith and trust in your leading. Amen.