Some people believe faith is expecting something good to happen to them—like health or wealth. They think it’s barging ahead despite facts to the contrary. But biblical faith is having complete trust in God based upon who He is and what He has revealed about Himself. The book of Hebrews (chapter 11) lists examples of people who by faith in God achieved many great things. Some overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, received what God had promised them, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death. But then the writer gives another list. These people of faith were tortured; some refused to deny God in order to be set free, placing their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered and their backs cut open with whips. Some died by stoning, some sawed in half; others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. So anyone who thinks faith is only about magically gaining health and wealth from God will be disappointed. Biblical faith believes and obeys God and what He reveals in His Word. It perseveres and relies on God to fulfill His purpose for us.
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