In Hebrews 11 there is a terrific discourse on faith which is very encouraging as it goes through a list of ancient people and what they did by faith. First it gives a definition of faith - being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). There's the rub. How can we be certain of what we do not see?
Let's take one of the examples given in Hebrews 11. God promised Abraham and Sarah a son. They were not young when the promise was made to them, and it didn't happen for several years. It's no stretch of the imagination to think that there were times when they were not sure or certain. Do you suppose Abraham went around bragging to his relatives, "I'm going to have a son"? Maybe he did. But what might the reaction have been when he said this year after year, with no evidence, and he and Sarah not getting any younger? Thankfully, God continued to reassure them and provided the proof for their faith. They had Isaac. God had further promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. Abraham's faith extended to that promise, but he never saw the fulfillment during his lifetime. It was faith that enabled him to be certain of what he did not see.
For reflection: Even people known for their great faith struggled to be sure of what they hoped for and certain of what they did not see. Faith depends upon knowing God and trusting God to fulfill his promises. The evidence given in the Scriptures is that God is trustworthy. What evidence have I seen of that in my own life? Am I sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see?
Let us pray. Father, I know the promises you have made to me. Some of them I have seen come to pass, and some not. Today I need encouragement and reassurance so that I can continue to have faith.