August 31, 2014

By John Ulrich, Senior Pastor

Hebrews 11: 6, 13, 32-40

What is faith? To some, it is hopeful optimism. To many, it is the opposite of fear. To others, faith is simply speaking things into happening.

Hebrews 11:6

“Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

1.  God’s goodness is the foundation of faith.

If we pursue God, good things will ultimately happen. The opposite is also true: conscious disobedience is always rooted in a failure to believe that God is and that He rewards those who earnestly believe Him.

2.  Sometimes, God’s goodness is hard to see.

This is recognized in Biblical characters who had to wait a long time to see God’s goodness (Noah, Abraham, Moses). In Heb. 11:35-38, some of their faith was never rewarded (tortured, flogged, prison, stoned, etc.).

Currently, we also see in those crucified in Iraq, that sometimes there does not seem to be any earthly reward at all. This world seems hard-wired to keep us from seeing God’s goodness (Heb. 11: 13, 39, 40).

Faith makes our life more challenging as we live in this world between our beliefs and our ultimate rewards. Walking in faith on earth, makes our life better and meaningful, not necessarily easy.

 3.  God’s goodness is most clearly seen in the Gospel.

Indeed, some do not see God’s promises here on earth (Heb. 11:13); His promises [lower case] are only sometimes experienced in this life. God’s ultimate Promise [upper case] is found in eternity for all Christians where He offers eternal life, eternal life, eternal riches, eternal joy, eternal solutions.

In the Gospel, we see God’s transforming power and goodness. God changes us, not necessarily the circumstances of our lives. God willingly gave up the life of His Son because He loves us and wants us to be reconciled to Him.   God has shown through Jesus’ life and death His goodness, His love to us.