Today we hear from Jessie on the topic of faith. You can find out a bit more about her at the end of the post. Jessie has been a great inspiration in writing this the weekend that her Granny passed away - such an incredible example of faith in the hard times as well as the good. We hope you find her post as encouraging as we did:
What do you have faith in? That you’ll pass your exams if you work really hard? Or that if your train is late, it will arrive eventually? Can you be 100% certain that your hard work will earn you top marks, or that the train will not be too delayed?
Faith in God is different. How? Because God delivers every time!
The writer of Hebrews in chapter 11 describes this biblical faith:
"Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (HEBREWS 11)
This faith isn’t a vague hope, but something that we can be completely confident is true! It is not a blind ‘leap-of-faith’ but a trust in the eternal God who does and will follow through on all of his promises. How great is that!?
Faith in God can be seen in individuals throughout the world’s history. The author of Hebrews commends the people of old for their faith in unseen realities, for example Abraham. Abraham left Haran to go to Canaan because he was commanded to by God, even though he had no idea where he was going or what he was really doing. He had faith. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his one and only son, Isaac, because God instructed him to do it. He had faith. What was motivating Abraham? It was the promise of a future inheritance. God pledged to Abraham:
“I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonours you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (HEBREWS 11)
How privileged are we that we have seen the fulfilment of these promises in Jesus!? Those of old, including Abraham, died without having received the things promised (Hebrews, 11v13), yet lived by such faith anyway.
We know now of the amazing grace that we have received because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, which is available to all who trust in this redeeming love. Abraham knew that all nations would be blessed through his descendants, and his life reflected his trust that this would be true. We are honoured because we can see that Jesus was this promised blessing! God keeps his promises, so have faith.
Friends of mine often ask why God doesn’t make himself clearer. The answer to that this simple: he has already, through the person of Jesus Christ, whose life we can read about in the gospel accounts of his life in the Bible. We therefore must have faith that Jesus has defeated sin and death. In John 20v24-29, we read about how Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, would not believe that Jesus had been raised from the dead until he had touched the marks of the nails in Jesus’ hands. Immediately, upon sight, Thomas cried “My Lord and my God!” (v28). Jesus replied:
“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (v29).
If we believe then we are a blessed people!
As Christian young women, we should be living by faith, remembering that God keeps his promises. If we do, we can have a certain hope of eternal life. When times get hard, or you don’t think that God is with you, have faith; not an airy fairy faith but a biblical faith. God will deliver. This weekend my Granny passed away. But I can be certain that, because of her faith, she will be in heaven with the Lord Jesus right now and that one day I will be with her again.
My name is Jessie Purvis and I’m a finalist at Durham University. If you were to look for me in Durham you’d probably find me either at a coffee shop (drinking tea), working (usually in bed which I’ve been told isn’t always the most productive location but is very comfortable), at Teikyo university with Japanese students, playing netball, cooking (hopefully something tasty) or at church.