“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” — Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
Every year, I love to watch the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies held by the various sports leagues. To be named a Hall of Famer is the crowning individual achievement for any athlete or coach, the perfect culmination to an incredible career.
The inductees usually have the opportunity to deliver a speech and thank all those who helped them along the way. Meanwhile, the fans have the opportunity to reflect on the inductees’ careers and celebrate everything they’ve contributed to the sport. Their accomplishments will be on display for future generations to learn about and admire.
There’s a type of Hall of Fame — many call it the Hall of Faith — in the Bible, too. In Hebrews 11, we read about many of the faithful figures of the Old Testament: Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Rahab, David. The list could go on. The point is that each of these people responded to God in faith and obedience.
None of the names listed were perfect people; they all sinned at times (some in major ways). The key is that they each admitted they’d done wrong, turned from their sinful actions and trusted in God to make good on His perfect promises. This is a picture of faith in God, and because of that faith, their names are “enshrined” forever in Hebrews 11 as examples of how to live in faithfulness to God.
Guess what? It doesn’t matter how far your athletic career took you or will take you. If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, you’re already a Hall of Famer too. If you have faith in Him, your name is listed right alongside the greatest saints in history. But this faith is not something you mustered up within yourself or worked hard to develop. It’s “the gift of God” through His grace.
This faith is the “assurance of things hoped for.” We can be assured that Jesus will one day come again just as He promised, when He will make all things right, even as we wait in hope right now.
This faith is the “conviction of things not seen.” Even though we weren’t there to witness it, we can be convinced that Jesus really did pay the penalty for every last one of our sins through His death on the cross and resurrection on the third day.
Rejoice! Jesus has given His people His perfect righteousness — their “enshrinement” into the Hall of Faith. Take a moment in prayer to praise God for this glorious truth.
— Kevin Mercer
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