A Faithful Life
Last Wednesday I taught our HQ Youth lesson on faithfulness. As I wrapped up the lesson, we broke into small groups and discussed a few different faithfulness-related topics, one of which was a question that I have been asking myself quite a lot in recent months: Are you being faithful with the life God has given you?
Let’s look at what faithfulness is. Obviously, faith is a big prerequisite to faithfulness, and you’ll find that the two are pretty much inseparable. Hebrews 11:1 offers one of the most succinct and clear biblical definitions of faith throughout Scripture. It says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see,” (NIV). Faith, in this verse, is made up of two parts, 1. confidence in what we hope for, and 2. assurance about what we do not see. These aspects of faith are important for practicing faithfulness because in order to be faithful to our Father, we must live our lives in such a way that we exhibit confidence in the hope of the Christian faith and assurance in the many things we are not always able to see: the promises of God, the activity of God, the plan of God (to name just a few).
That brings me back to that same question: Are you being faithful with the life God has given you? With the resources God has given you, however abundant or scarce they might be? With the people God has placed around you, however supportive or neglectful they might be? With the people and things that God has placed under your care, whether they be your children, your community, your curmudgeonly neighbor, or whatever else He has placed in your tiny corner of this great planet?
Hebrews 11 is a phenomenal passage of Scripture, and it offers abundant insight into what a faithful life should look like. I won’t go into great detail here in this brief post, but throughout the chapter we see a list of the many great and faithful prophets and followers of God throughout the Old Testament. By faith, Hebrews 11 says, Abel brought God a worthy offering, by faith Noah believed in warnings of things not yet seen and prepared accordingly, by faith Abraham was given a child, by faith he was willing to give that same child up, by faith the walls of Jericho failed–the list goes on and on. Then it wraps up in Hebrews 11:39-40, which says, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
God’s time is different from our own. When we are called to be faithful, perhaps by practicing love and joy and patience and kindness, we are called to do so without the promise of a reward that we will see in this lifetime. Sometimes we will have to work hard and be uncomfortable, possibly forever! True faithfulness does not concern itself with when the reward will come, it does not concern itself with the reward at all. Being faithful means being confident in the hope we are offered in Scripture, even if we are confident it will come in another lifetime. Being faithful means having assurance of the things God is doing and has promised us, even if we never get to see it with our own eyes. Just like the apostles who waited patiently for Jesus to return, only to die before it ever happened! (See? Easter can still be relevant even after the chocolate has run out!)
I encourage you to be faithful with your life. I’ll do my best to do the same.