October 5, 2023

JD Wilhelm
"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. 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. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God."
Hebrews 11:8-10

Here our attention is meant to be fixed on Abraham rather than God’s call, since faith is the subject under consideration in Hebrews 11. Abraham’s faith in God’s promise is expressed in obedience. Even though he did not know where he was going, he faithfully went. His faith may be more aptly described in this circumstance as hope. Abraham was hoping for a city that had foundations in God, and yet he, Isaac, and Jacob did not live to see the fulfillment of that promise. In other words, Abraham’s hope is eschatological in nature, not to be fulfilled by some piece of real estate. He, Isaac, and Jacob lived the life of a sojourner in the land of promise, which paints the picture of life as temporary and vulnerable. In contrast to this tent home, Abraham hoped for a city, permanent and with a firm foundation, which is built by God.

What this narrative demonstrates is that faith looks forward to the future, trusting that God will fulfill His promises made to those who believe. In other words, faith and hope are one, and they orient us toward God on the pilgrimage of life. Being perfectly honest, it is easy for me to lose faith. When life feels unmanageable, I tend to wallow around in self-pity at my circumstances. But those circumstances point to just how temporary and vulnerable our lives are. Instead, we hope in the promises of God, which point to a future beyond our circumstances. How can the promises of God bring you hope in the midst of trying circumstances this week?