My Life Verses: Hebrews 11:1

Day Three: “Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Heb 11:1)

This is one of the first verses I memorized as a teenager but I also always associated it in my mind with a scene from the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  If you’ve seen the movie, I’m sure you can remember when Indiana Jones has to take a “step of faith” from the lion’s mouth during his quest for the Holy Grail.  If not, watch it here.  As a kid, this scene made a big impression on me and I can still picture him simply stepping off the edge of the cliff into a seemingly bottomless chasm only to be stopped abruptly when he lands on a hidden bridge made of stone.  For me, this embodied the whole concept about the “assurance of what we do not see” from this verse.  For if Indiana Jones had been wrong he would have plunged to his death, so it was a literal “leap of faith” for him.  All in all, this verse still creates a vivid image for me of what it means to put my faith in something I cannot prove at the time.

For me now, I think this classic faith verse is not just about having faith itself, but also the realization that it matters even more what you are putting your faith in or where you are placing your faith in the first place.  I can remember a youth pastor giving the analogy that if you have faith that a chair will hold you up but that chair is broken, then it doesn’t matter how much  faith you have in that chair – once you sit in it you will always end up falling to the ground.  And so it is the same with placing my faith in Christ Jesus – if He truly is the son of God then my faith will stand firm.  And yet, the  first section of 1 Corinthians 15 says that if Christ is not truly alive – not raised from the dead – then our faith as Christians is futile and we are “of all people most to be pitied.”  And so I believe that my Christian faith all hinges on the fact that Jesus IS resurrected from the dead!  For in Acts 2:31-32, Peter says to the crowd at Pentecost:”Seeing what was to come, [David] spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.”

Therefore, this verse from Hebrews 11 has helped shape the backbone of my theology, my view of God, in numerous and profound ways.  It is my belief that Jesus was not just a good person or a great prophet but the Son of God and it is in this view that my faith solidly rests.  For Matthew 16:13-16 says this: When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples,“Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  And I would have to answer the same.  

  So there are many layers to Hebrews 11:1 which have all shaped, and continue to shape, my own faith in Christ as well.  

“Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Heb 11:1)

 

 

 

My Life Verses: Philippians 1:6

Day Two: “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6)

I has this verse on a poster I had gotten from a Christian teen magazine back in middle school and that poster hung above my bed right through high school.  So I saw this verse a lot and quickly memorized it!  The poster had as a background a beautiful sunset over a grove of trees with the verse printed in the middle of it all.  It really spoke to me because it made me realize that God would not just leave me with all my issues but would stick with me to the end!  That He is and will continue to be doing a good work in my life.  This was especially such a comfort to me during my tumultuous teen years.

But I think my understanding of the verse has changed from when I first put it up until now.  For example, different phrases in the verse have stood out to me at different times over the years.  Sometimes I needed more help in the confidence department of my faith and sometimes I needed to realize there God is actually working things out for the good in my life and sometimes I just needed to know He is not just a fair-weather friend but there through the thick and thin of if all.

But now?  Well, now this verse still is one that frequently pops in to my head and I believe it mostly in regards to the fact that it is God who began this work in me and that He will be the one to see it through.  Kind of takes the pressure off if you know what I mean?  A quote also comes to mind from I heard somewhere from Cardinal Basil Hume, “Our search for God is only in response to His search for us.”  I had this one up on my quote board for quite awhile.  Or the idea that I simply need to “work out what God works in” as seen here from an entry from My Utmost from His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  So much to unpack in this verse!  So I will leave you with it again:

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6)