REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Jabez Yeo, now a friend of AMI, was first posted on September 26, 2015.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“Living by Faith”
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God… 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”
In J.R.R. Tolkien’s short story, “Leaf by Niggle,” Niggle is a perfectionist painter who wants to paint a picture of a leaf and then a whole tree. While this project becomes his sole responsibility, Niggle doesn’t get much done because of his intense focus on painting the leaf and his heart for helping his neighbors. After an unfortunate accident, Niggle dies; weeping that he left only a single painted leaf. But as Niggle enters Heaven, he is comforted by Mercy because of his willingness to sacrifice for others. He then discovers that his tree, fully detailed and finished, is now “part of the True Reality that would be enjoyed forever”
As Christians, each of us may have different godly visions or promises that we hope will be fulfilled in this life. In the case of Abraham, God had specifically promised him the land of Canaan and descendants as numerous as the stars (Gn. 12:1-3, 15:1-5). Yet at the time of Abraham’s death, Abraham only had a small plot of ground (23:17-18) and two sons (25:7-11). And Hebrews 11:13 notes that Abraham “died in faith, not having received the things promised…”
How then did Abraham have faith, even in the midst of seemingly unfulfilled promises? Hebrews 11:13 explains that heroes like Abraham saw God’s promises and “greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth”. As believers today, do we remember that this world is not our final destination? When we seek a homeland (Heb. 11:14) and desire a heavenly country (11:16) like Abraham did, we can have faith that what we do for the Lord has eternal significance, even if we don’t see the desired end results.
As sons of Abraham by faith (Gal. 3:7), we know the final ending, in which “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues” (Rev. 7:9) will gather to praise the Lord. Let’s put our faith in God that He will fulfill His promises, in this life of the next.
Prayer: Lord, increase my faith in You, the faithful promise keeper. I confess that so often, I have to see to believe. Remind me once again how blessed are those who have not seen but have yet believed. Thank You for Your patience with me and help me to fully seek my true home, where there will be no more tears, pain or death. In Your Name I pray, Amen
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 17-18