Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
As an adult leader, I arranged a student field trip to an obstacle course. We instructed students to slip into safety gear and scale an eight-foot wall. Those who went first encouraged each climber to trust the harness and keep moving forward without looking down. One of our students stared at the barrier as we secured belts and buckles around her waist. “There’s no way I can do this,” she said. Affirming the strength of her harness, we encouraged her and cheered when she climbed up the wall and stepped onto the high platform.
When we face problems that seem impossible to conquer, fears and insecurities can cause doubts. The assurance of God’s unchanging might, goodness, and faithfulness creates a strong harness of trust. This confident assurance fueled the courage of the Old Testament saints, who demonstrated that faith trumps our need to know every detail of God’s plan (Hebrews 11:1–13, 39). With conviction, we seek God earnestly, often standing alone when we trust Him. We can adjust the way we approach our challenges by viewing our circumstances with an eternal perspective—knowing our trials are only temporary (vv. 13–16).
Focusing on the steep climbs in life can prevent us from believing that God will bring us through. But knowing He’s with us, we can harness our uncertainties by faith as we trust God to help us overcome obstacles that once seemed impossible.
How can you become more courageous in the face of an impossible task? How do you feel when you’ve accomplished something you didn’t think you could do?
Father, thank You for being the Author and Perfecter of my faith, so that the measure of my faith when I face obstacles is reliant on Your strength, not my own.
The book of Hebrews was written with Jewish readers in mind. They saw themselves as physical heirs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Before hearing about Jesus, they identified with a visible land, city, and temple. Now, they’re facing the fears and unknowns of following Jesus, and some were having second thoughts (10:32–39). So an inspired author used a familiar list of ancestors to remind his readers that they weren’t the first to put their hope in an unseen God (11:1). Emphasizing faith over sight, this letter from beginning to end offers reasons to keep our eyes on Jesus (12:1–3).