“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
(Hebrews 11:1 ESV)
“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”
(Hebrews 11:13–16 ESV)
Sometimes all that’s left is hope for heaven.
Sometimes, in God’s providence and wisdom, the promises fail.
Though this may cause doubt and fear and foolish thoughts fit for an unbeliever…God is not ashamed to be your God…or mine.
That’s all I’ve got this morning.
If you can make your own application, you’re in my prayers.
Amen. The hope of Heaven. I have to wonder if that is the plan for this life; to be so done with this fallen planet, that the thought of leaving it is more appealing than clinging to what’s left here.
I do not believe Gods promises “fail”. I believe that I/we do not understand His ways. I am certain that I have both misunderstood and have been incorrectly taught about the so called promises of God. Life disasters teach me to unreservedly lean into God’s goodness or tempt me to lose Faith.
“Though this may cause doubt and fear and foolish thoughts fit for an unbeliever…God is not ashamed to be your God…or mine.”
It wouldn’t be faith if you could touch, see and know it.
But hey God messes with us – look at the story of the New Testament – if someone does not mark True to these statements on a true / false test, they don’t get it.
1.) Mary gave birth to God.
2.) God died one afternoon.
3.) A man runs the universe.
Great word Michael. “Sometimes all that’s left is hope for heaven” I notice that the older I get and the more things I see in this world, the more I look forward to heaven. Interesting that the NKJV says “substance” instead of “assurance” in Heb eleven. one. For me substance seems to take some kind of form like proof or evidence and assurance has less to hold on to. I will look deeper into this today but Michael’s comment , “Sometimes, in God’s providence and wisdom, the promises fail” while true it doesn’t bother me because “God is not ashamed to be my God” Much to think about, thanks Michael.
Just understand that “things not seen,” does not mean you are hoping in the darkness. All of the patriarchs and matriarchs of our faith saw something..Hebrews 11:13 (ESV)
“13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”
So faith is a thing UNSEEN but REVEALED AND KNOWN. We have a good deal more than heaven we have Jesus.1 Peter 1:8–9 (ESV) “8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
So we strengthen ourselves in the LORD
#2 – from someone who rejects “it,” but is not picking up the gauntlet, gotta say:
John 2:19-21 and i would include the first book of corinth’ns, the third chapter verses sixteen thru twenty-three, but i won’t because i’d get moderated and then when this post did show up someone would want to start a rebuttal or something … aaaand we have no idea exactly what defines the ‘universe’ anyway … 😀
and i’m just sayin … cuz i can
I agree with Paige that God’s promises properly understood never fail.
The failure is with us in misunderstanding the nature of some of the promises, or misinterpreting the promises. We then set up false expectations, which when unrealized …we want to blame God for.
2 Corinthians 1:20
For all the promises of God in him [are] yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie , we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.
Believing that Jesus lived, died AND rose from the dead is at its core no different than believing George Washington was the first President. Both are historical facts, passed down to us over the years, having been recorded by the eyewitnesses who saw the events.
Maybe there is more evidence for Washington, but then again, he is far more recent. So make the comparison to Alexander the Great or some other ancient historical figure that the world universally recognizes existed and basically is in agreement on the major highlights of his life.
Of course, as with any historical event, one can create conspiracy theories to counter what is declared. So then the issue is the believability of such theories. One could argue that Washington was not really the first President, but would not get very far in the court of opinion. I believe the conspiracy theories surrounding Jesus are quite weak, and actually require more faith to believe than the truth.
So we are back to the declaration made by the Lord, that people don’t come to the light because of their sin, they don’t want to repent of their evil deeds.
Of course, faith in the context of future events is a different thing, but that faith blossoms AFTER the faith that saves is there.
“Sometimes, in God’s providence and wisdom, the promises fail.”
I want to argue with the wording here, just a little, but not with the intended meaning. I agree with Michael today, I just don’t think “fail” is the best word. Delayed, maybe.
God’s promises are sure, and are to be continually hoped for in this life, even if we don’t receive the promises until the next life.
Again, I think Michael means the exact same thing, I just wouldn’t have used the word “fail”. God doesn’t fail, right?
Our faith needs to be in the Promiser and not in the promise (Gen twenty. two). Whenever we see the word fail next to God, a red flag goes up.
Right Josh. God doesn’t fail. That would be us… 😉
Unrelated to Michael’s comment, I would add we sometimes err in looking at OT promises to Israel, conditional on obedience to the Mosaic Law, as applicable to us in the Church today.
The NT promises the Church persecution for His Name’s sake,for those who would live Godly. That alone is a huge difference between us and Israel of the past.
I really like what Josh said. That God’s promises are sure and sometimes delayed. Sometimes until eternity.
I don’t how many of you are familar with Thomas Howard. He’s the brother of Elisabeth Elliot. He published a killer piece that ran in Christianity Today, called “On Brazen Heavens.” It’s worth reading and pondering.
I found a Google Books link — it starts on page 21 and runs for 4-5 pages. Check it out.
Of course when one talks about promises, there are 2 different kinds to discuss.
Unconditional and conditional.
An example of an unconditional promise would be God’s promise to never again destroy the world by a flood. Regardless of what we as men (believers or not) do or don’t do, the promise will be fulfilled.
Conditional promises require us to do certain things to appropriate them. If we fail to do those things, the promises will remain unfulfilled. An example of this is the promise of eternal life. Receipt of this promise is conditioned upon our receiving it by faith.
If we fail to do this, the promise remains unfulfilled.
IMO opinion, where people often get thrown is thinking they are promised material wealth, or physical health, when in reality certain biblical promises concerning these things could be speaking to specific peoples or individuals, or be referring to spiritual realities (spiritual wealth or health).
Of course there is always the promise that believers are going to suffer and be persecuted… 😯
I don’t see many standing in line to claim these! 😉
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake…
2 Timothy 3:12
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
I see Steve beat me to the punch…. lol.
Of course when all else fails we can fall back and punt. 😉
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.”
Now there’s a promise we can all claim with full assurance!
And then there’s the promise from 1 Gump 1:1
“Stupid is as stupid does.”
“Stupid is as stupid does.” yes and amen … and thank God for John 1:16-17
which came first, i wonder: God’s grace or His creation of us?
I just read a letter from Matthew Harrison, the President of the LCMS. The largest Lutheran Church in the world, the Lutheran Church in Ethiopia has severed it’s ties with the ELCA and the Church of Sweden and wish to work towards fellowship with the LCMS.
The have 6.2 million members. I think the had been reading my posts here. 🙂
“If you can make your own application, you’re in my prayers.”
I can, and you are in my prayers too, my friend.
Not for a moment…
It may be well just me but this part I really struggle with ““Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for”. That is a line an evangelical should ever, and I mean ever cross, hoping. Hope is an emotion and all emotions outside of the apologetic are always of Satan. People of faith should never have emotions, I would hold people of faith should never have faith. They should have a cold, pragmatic, realism, steeped in super naturalism geared by science (So called) wrapped up by the pathetic rhetoric of presuppositionalism, try building a bridge, riding in a plane, taking an antibiotic, and so on built on presuppositionalism . We do not do nothing other then apologetic hand wringing based on presup concepts, nothing what so ever, and I mean ever. You do not drive your car, cross over a bridge, fly on an air plane, eat food of any kind other then that you grew and processed yourself etc based on a presuppositional view as portrayed by the modern american apologetic. I could go on but wont. We do not live our lives based on these things, we drive over bridges built on science and engineering concepts that have been tested with evidence. We take medication, eat food, drink water, breath air and so on based on the idea of evidence, observable, repeatable evidence. Of course we do not re observe the big bang or milestones of evolution, and evolution happened its time to climb on down that hobby horse. But the tools that point to these milestones support dozens of scientific disciplines we rely on day to day.
I admit I could be wrong something a presup cannot do, their entire epistemology is based on being right all the time. What a burden, from the cheap seats, I thought I did not have any good news, they have even less and the gaps are shrinking.
I don’t think you are wrong at all to struggle. The problem with hope isn’t the emotion or even the idea, it is the object of that hope. If one goes through the faith hall of fame in Hebrews and looks carefully at each one of the men mentioned there a strange picture begins to be drawn.
None of those mentioned, who had “faith,” were stellar men at all they simply (eventually in some cases) made the God of creation the object of their “hope” and His ability to take care of them. Some like Samson even called on God to avenge those who took his eyes, which to me is a totally selfish position, and Gideon, who presented false worship at first to an angel and eventually because of his desire to have an affair outside of a covenant marriage, brought pain and suffering to his family.
Have faith in what? Hope is the assurance God will take care of all, even in the presence of my selfishness.
So yes hope!!
I agree with and am encouraged by the realized eschatology of BD. But hardships can be of such fury and force over extended duration of time that the hope of heaven becomes the sole thing one holds onto. Michael.Good straight ,honestword. Thank you.
Amen Michael. A difficult word to accept but true nonetheless.