Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
I promised a ‘thought’ about faith some time ago and other things keep getting in the way. But now, as we enter the next stages of the roadmap, it seems the right time, although my content has changed a lot since I first began to think about it.
Hebrews 11 has a lot to say about faith and gives us many examples of God’s people living by faith, ‘by faith Moses’, ‘by faith Enoch’, ‘by faith Noah’ etc. I want to concentrate on Abraham, who ‘when he was called to go…, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going’. I believe that we are called to go out into the new post-lockdown world (I do not say post-covid because I feel we must accept that it will always be with us now, hopefully just endemic and no longer pandemic). And I think we do not know exactly where we are going because God is going to do something new. We have been changed, the world around us has changed, and we will never go back to ‘normal’ and simply resume all the things we were doing before. We have had time to think and to reassess our lives, to step back from the rat race and make new beginnings.
The one constant in our world is God. He knows the plans he has for us, there is new wine for us which cannot be put into old wineskins, he has promised us a future and a hope. But we have been locked down for a year and it is almost harder to go out of the door into the world than it was to accept that we had to stay indoors and not see our families and friends. The trouble is we have got used to staying in now, we feel discomforted by seeing more people and as for getting close to them, well that is really unsettling. When we do go out, we are uncertain because we aren’t quite sure how to behave, once familiar scenarios have a different feel and we aren’t sure we want to just go back to how it used to be.
We are like Abraham; we do not know where we are going and all we have is the encouragement to obey God and find out what he wants us to do and where he wants us to go. With his help we can get back out into the world but we need to walk by faith not by sight and not by falling into the old patterns. We know we can be sure about our eternal hope and that we can be certain about God’s love. As we go forward, let’s remember that God is our guide and our strength, he will guide us and we can trust him as we step out into the unknown.
Isaiah 43:19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland