Promise’s abandoned, years of waiting, hoping, unmet expectations, failures, crushed dreams and disappointments. Those words hit me like a fire bolt as tears stained my face. The darkness seemed to envelope me as I lay stewing over my hurts.
What purpose did I have in life? Did my dreams matter? Why did I continuously pray, go about a task, only to have it seemingly blocked. Questions of doubt crept into my heart like poison. Did God care about longings, pain and hurt? Didn’t He create me with these desires? If living in a fallen world isn’t hard enough as a young teen crushed hopes can make the future seem grim.
In my despair, I grabbed the only thing near me. The Scripture opened to the 11th chapter of Hebrews verse 1,“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”
What! How is this hopeful or how did it answer my questions? My distraught brain poured over this passage furiously. It occurred to me like a breath of fresh air, “Faith in things that are unseen is a christian’s hope!” The elders(Abraham, Sarah, etc.) obtained a good testimony. They had faith in the unseen. A hope in God’s Word revealed over time.
The chapter continued, “13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them,[c] embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
“What!” I shouted. “They all died not seeing their hope or longings fulfilled!” How tragic!” I thought, “Wait!” The last phrase captured me. “God was not ashamed to be called their God for they hoped in Him!” (paraphrased)
The champions of faith had a relationship with God. They understood His character and had established Him as faithful. (Hebrews 11:11) They looked expectantly to a day when pain, suffering, and the unknown would diminish. They had faith filled courage in the unseen–a heavenly home where God dwells. Seeing with eyes of assurance fixed on a heavenly hope and not on the temporary circumstances, they became faithful servants even if those desires remained. 6 But 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. (Hebrews 11:6)
What a hope! What an example! Even though I am not 100% faithful, God still sees my longing heart. He yearns for me to run to Him with those desires designed for His purposes and to count Him faithful just like previous runners. It is in the unseen where hope is produced and evidence of character and true faith can be seen by others. He has put those longings in my heart so I will eagerly take them to Him.
Do you have unfilled longings and desires? How quickly do you race to Christ? Do you hope in what is unseen and wait with great fervor for the glorious appearing of Christ when everything you face will be washed away?
It isn’t easy but it will be worth it!