Living By Faith When Promises are not (Fully) Fulfilled, Pt. 2
April 24, 2022
I came across a synthesis of some important life lessons this week:
- “I’ve learned that you can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.”
- “I’ve learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up.”
- “I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice.”
- “I’ve learned that wherever I go, the world’s worst drivers have followed me there.”
- “I’ve learned that children and grandparents are natural allies.”
- “I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.”
- “I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.” (Age 92)
Some of those lessons were learned with difficulty (and perhaps suffering). Wouldn’t it be nice to learn some of life’s harder or more important lessons from the lives of other? That’s actually what the writer to the Hebrews does for us in this morning’s passage.
In Hebrews 11:13-16, we come to the center point in the chapter (not in the number of verses, but in the theme and flow of the chapter). It is the middle point of a chiastic structure in the chapter. And at the center, the writer takes a moment to consider the lessons we have already learned about faith and looks forward to how those lessons will be exemplified in the lives of the faithful people in the remainder of this chapter.
Living by faith means acting on God’s promises when they aren’t yet received.
Last time (vv. 8-12) we looked at how we can live that way; in this passage we see the lessons of faith — what Abraham and others exemplified about living by faith.
In these verses, the writer reveals six characteristics of living by faith:
- Live by Faith by Being Confident in God (v. 13a)
- Live by Faith by Being a Stranger in This World (v. 13b)
- Live by Faith by Being Ambitious for Home (v. 14)
- Live by Faith by Discerning Two Realities (v. 15)
- Live by Faith by Cultivating a Better Desire (vv. 14, 16a)
- Live by Faith by Being Secure in God’s Plan (v. 16b)
Download the rest of this sermon on Hebrews 11:13-16.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.