In a comment to an early post Michelle suggested I look up the Book of Hebrews, chapter 11.  It is described in a few places as examples of “Faith to help the discouraged”.  The first three verses define faith, then 4 – 38 talks about the faith of many heroic figures in the Bible, Abel, Enoch, Noah, etc.  The Book concludes with verses 39 and 40, further reasons for faith beyond what these “heroes” did.

We will all go through periods of discouragement.  I can see where the  Book of Hebrews, chapter 11, is a good reminder for Christ Followers of the value of faith.  It is a great source of encouragement for the faithful when they are troubled. 

Hebrews 11 verses 1-3 and 39-40 (New International Version)

1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for.

 3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Verse one is a good definition of religious faith.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for.  It expands beyond what we learn from our senses.  It is the organ which enables the CF to see what is invisible to their senses, and can’t be measured in any laboratory.

Verse 2 refers to how this faith enabled so many of the heroic elders of Christianity to overcome, obtain good testimony, even when their circumstances were discouraging.  They had many different circumstances in life, but what they all shared in common was faith.

In verse 3 were back to how faith gives understanding to what is invisible to our senses.  It was the words of God, “Let their be life” that framed our world.  The CF knows this by their faith, it can’t be observed, or measured, with their senses.

The two concluding verses, 39 and 40, give more reasons for religious faith today.  Even though these old heroes of the Bible obtained good testimony they never saw the (God’s?) promise the way the CF has, the testimony of the completed work of Jesus.  The CF enjoys the completed work of Jesus has even more reason to hold on to faith.

I think Hebrews 11 gives the best example of how religious faith differs from mine.

My faith is based on what can be observed, and measured, mostly by the technology created by the human brain, and tested by the process known as science.

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