Abram and his hope
'By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city whose architect and builder is God.' Hebrews 11:8-10
In Hebrews 11:1 we are told 'Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.' One interesting example of this was Abraham. It is easy for us to think, well Abraham was one of the patriarchs, so of course it was easy for him to obey. But that is to do a disservice to the Bible. Abraham was an ordinary guy who was called to obey day to day, just like we are.
Abram, as he was in Genesis 12, set out from his home which was Ur of the Chaldeans (v31) and embarked on a huge journey.
God said 'Leave your country, your people and your Father's household and go to the land I will show you....' Genesis 12:1
Leaving everything that is familiar to you is not easy. It is of course a blessing when we are in familiar surroundings and have the comforts of life around us. Many of us would like to live in that place as Christian all the time. In a land where things are not hard and where blessings are easily won and enjoyed. But sometimes God calls us to have faith and to press on, even when we can't see the outcome and when we feel very much like we are wandering in the desert.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for-- our heavenly glory with Jesus-- but it might mean that there are lots of uncertainties now. Faith might still mean that the present is difficult, although the future is all tied up.
We can know that Abram was looking forward to a REAL future life with the Lord God, because he traded his earthly comfort now and was prepared to pop to Millets and get his accommodation. He lived in a tent! That is what it says in the verses I began with. On the uncertain road, he was looking forward to a city that God has the architects plans for and is going to bring into being. Some people think of it as 'heaven', but it is more accurately the new heavens and new earth that God has promised in Revelation 21. So, metaphorically speaking, could you live in a tent for God and embrace uncertainty? We also need to sit lightly to earthly comforts and possessions. Oh Lord Jesus give us the strength to do this!
And this is to be the nature of our faith. So whatever you are going through today, be it joy or sorrow, I pray that you will join with me on looking beyond now and so living by faith.