If you want to know faith, you look at people who had faith.
Well, if you want to read a condensed version of many of the men and women of faith in the Bible, you’d read the 11th chapter of the Book of Hebrews. It’s known as the ‘faith chapter.’
It starts out with the definition of faith, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb. 11:1)
Faith is not for the faint-hearted!
“This is what the ancients were commended for.” (Heb. 11:2)
So, then we get an education of the ancients with faith: “By faith Able was commended as a righteous man. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.” And “by faith Enoch, …before he was taken, was commended as one who pleased God.” (Heb. 4,5)
Heb. 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
I like rewards! Everyone does. But the words are hard to read that come in verse 37. I am not sure I see much reward:
“They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented-(vs.38)of whom the world was not worthy…”
Oh my! The position these ‘heros of faith’ had in the world was pretty low, but we see in God’s word, is says, the ‘world was not worthy of them’. They were ‘in position’ to walk by faith! They were men and women in position to trust God, step by step even when they couldn’t see the path-they just kept their eyes on God, they diligently kept seeking Him.
Well, I know a man who believes God to be who He says He is. I know a man who believes God is “I AM THAT I AM.”
I have watched him through the years. He actually believes that God is his I AM, his, ‘whatever you need’ God. He believes as a child. He believes that the Almighty God the Creator of the Universe is watching over him and his family, that He is their protector and provider, that He is the door.
He believes that if he seeks God diligently, God hears prayer, and prayer changes things. I have watched this man, he has the ‘gift of faith.’
When I’m in confusion about what to do, and this man has no answers, he says, “Talk to your Father in Heaven.”
When I’m fretful about tomorrow, he would ask, “Do you have everything you need for today?” “Are you OK today?”
When totally devastated and discouraged about closed doors, this man would take a breath and say, “God has something better.”
Through many a dark and cloudy day of unseemingly unanswered prayer, there is not a morning where he did not get up to meet with his Jesus in word and prayer.
This man has no position in this world to shout about, but his position ‘in Christ’ is steadfast and immovable.
This man is my husband.
In reality, I am the “O ye of little faith’, but God has helped my faith increase- by watching my husband trust God through these 26 years, (and now 30!) no matter what others think, no matter how he feels, no matter what happens- Mike Rypkema trusts God!
I love you Mike Rypkema. God is pleased with your faith. (We have many rewards!) I will continue to hold your hand and ‘wait on the LORD’ with you, I just make a lot more noise in my waiting than you do!
Oh, yes, I still make a lot more noise in the waiting! But God just says, “Toni, just keep singin’, just keep singin’! And that is what I will do.
And, Mike Rypkema, with God we can continue to give Him glory as we keep our eyes on Him.