How do you define the word action? Are you the type of person who perches on the edge of your seat while watching an exciting action movie? Have you or someone you know ever experienced the tragedies associated with the acts of war? As a fly fisherman I enjoy the action of the rod as I cast the fly line back and forth anticipating the explosive action of setting the hook and eventually playing the fish into my hands. Often as we teach our children to memorize scripture or songs we use actions to help support their learning; and as we raise and help them grow we teach them to be responsible for their own actions.
What about faith and action? What does that look like? The book of Hebrews talks a lot about faith. Chapter 11 clearly stands out to me as it talks about the “ancients”, our forefathers as they lived out their faith in action. Think about some of the stories you might know… Verse 7 reminds us of Noah’s faith as he was ridiculed while building the ark, verse 8 talks about the faith that Abraham had as he looked forward to an inheritance only God could promise. We read about the faith of Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and many more. Each one of these people and many others had one thing in common; they all looked at what was to come, to a future that was unknown, a future that ultimately was in God’s hands. Living out their faith in action, our forefathers were obedient to the call of God in their lives.
It is inspiring to me when I read through God’s word and find a collection of stories that help me understand more about the faith I am growing in. Stories like that of Ruth and Naomi, Esther, and our forefathers challenge me to think about how my faith impacts others. Each one of these accounts of faith in scripture portray a journey of hardships, suffering and even death along with mercy, grace and love. Through faith in the one Almighty God we can have the [sure] confidence in what we hope for (the promise of eternal life through Christ) and assurance about what we do not see. (11:1) Today, we have the opportunity to have a relationship with God through Christ who fulfilled one of those promises of long ago to our forefathers, a promise of one who would come into this world as our Savior (Isaiah 7:14).