Summary: Faith Unravels the Mysteries of Life: It tells us where we came from and it tells us where we’re going.
Can you believe it? In just a couple weeks many of you will be heading back to class! Are you excited for school? I hope so because school is a good thing. It provides you with the many skills you will need to survive in this world. But as much as school can teach you about this world it can’t unravel all the mysteries of life. No textbook can answer the questions of how we got here, or where we are going. Thankfully God’s Word gives us the answer to these questions and therefore we can say that Faith Unravels the Mysteries of Life. This morning we’ll study what faith teaches us about where we came from and where we are going.
The letter to the Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians who were being tempted to revert to Judaism because of persecution. In order to persuade them not to throw away their faith, the author wanted these Christians to realize that if they left Christianity they would not be deserting to, but from the patriarchs. Hebrews 11 emphasizes that the Old Testament believers were saved in the same way New Testament believers are, through faith in God’s promises.
But now what exactly is faith? Is it “[an] illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable” (H.L. Mencken, U.S. Journalist)? A blind leap in the dark? Is it the disregard for all fact? A fuzzy feeling that everything will somehow work out? Verse one of our text defines faith like this: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”(Hebrews 11:1).
Faith is a solid trust in things we can’t prove. This does not mean that faith is blind, however, faith sees God’s promises and bases its trust on that. For example faith believes that the universe was created by God’s command (Hebrews 11:3). While we do not have a videotape proving that God created the world in this manner, we believe it to be true because God said that’s the way it happened. That’s faith.
But now doesn’t that just go to prove that faith is blind? I mean what about all the facts that point to how the world was created from a big explosion? Perhaps you have been taught to believe in school that evolution and the “big bang” theory are the proper explanations for the way the world and all life was brought into being. To tell you the truth it takes more faith to believe that than what the Bible teaches. Let’s examine the facts so you can see what I mean.
The world we live in is one of order. Gravity keeps us from flying across the room. The air has just the right amount of oxygen to sustain us but not too much less it go up in flame every time someone lit a match. Migratory birds fly thousands of miles without a map and don’t get lost. Bones break but know how to mend themselves once they are set. To believe that this complex, yet orderly world could come into existence through a huge explosion is like saying that if you dumped a bag of Scrabble game-pieces on the floor that the letters would somehow arrange themselves into a poem! Besides that if we really descended from apes, and birds from dinosaurs the world should be filled with the fossils of animals that were in the middle of evolving from dinosaur to bird, or ape to human. Scientists around the world have been looking for these “missing links” for close to 150 years now and they have yet to find one. Why? Because they don’t exist and never did!
When you take a look at the world around you and see how wonderfully it’s put together you have to admit that an intelligent and powerful Creator has been at work. And what a comfort it is to know that we are not cosmic accidents but God’s creation! That means we have a purpose for being here on earth. God said through the prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (29:11).
Have you been languishing in your job? Unsure of where your marriage is going? Concerned about what you’ll do when you grow up? Worried about going to that new school? Are you feeling the weight of responsibility that comes with being a parent, or looking after a one? Don’t worry; God has plans for you – wonderful plans. Do you want to know what those plans are? Do you want to know where you are headed? Let’s see what faith can teach us.
The patriarch Abraham can teach us a lot about faith and where we are headed. When God told Abraham to leave his hometown and go to a place that he would show him Abraham went. Although he didn’t have any idea where God was taking him, he knew that in the long run God would lead him to his home in heaven far away from the pain and sorrows of this life. Verse 10 our text says, “[Abraham] was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). In the same way we may not know where God is going to take us here on earth but we do know that he is leading us to a home in heaven.