Connections 08.07.2022: By Faith

Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

How many times in your life have you taken on a new venture, stepped into an unfamiliar experience, or made a decision that seemed like a choice between two undesirable paths? With maybe a few self-proclaimed exceptions, we humans have no window into the future. We can think about what might happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year, and we can try to plan accordingly, but the truth is that every current second is the only future we have. And as soon as we live that second, it’s in the past.

When I was a senior in high school, I remember struggling to picture my future at college, in a job, and with a family. It was exciting and terrifying. One frequent quote I relied on is attributed to Elton Trueblood: “Faith is not belief without proof but trust without reservation.” In the midst of my uncertainty at any time in my life, I can choose to trust God without reservation, without holding back or second-guessing. When I sense God’s direction in my life, I can decide to follow that direction by faith.

Our well-known lesson text from Hebrews appears in the beloved “faith chapter.” We aren’t the only ones who have confronted a split in the road and had to decide which way to go. The writer mentions Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob, but the Bible is full of other examples of people who decided to act “by faith.” We can find additional examples from more recent times and even in our own lives. While not everything went perfectly for these examples after they acted by faith, they knew that God was with them and would always be with them.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (11:1). When life feels uncertain, let’s rest on this assurance and conviction. Let’s trust God without reservation, knowing that God is with us and will always be with us.


• When have you struggled to make a decision because the best path was unclear to you? What happened?
• What makes it hard to act “by faith”? Why do we crave certainty?
• What are the things you hope for? Do you have a sense of assurance that these things will happen?
• What are the things you can’t see but feel convicted about? Do you trust that God will make these things visible to you when you’re ready for them?
• How can you build trust in God without reservation? How can you act by faith?

Kelley Land, a graduate of Mercer University, has been an assistant editor of Smyth & Helwys curriculum and books since 2001. In addition to this work, she is a freelance editor for other publishers and authors. She also regularly volunteers for Jay’s HOPE, a nonprofit serving families of children with cancer. Kelley enjoys spending time with her teenage daughters, Samantha and Natalie, her husband John, and the family’s two dachshund mix pups, Luke and Leia. She likes supporting community theater productions and is often found playing board games with a group of rowdy friends. She loves Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who. And she writes middle grade and young adult fiction for the pure joy of it.


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