September 2, 2019
Living By Faith
When I was a hospice chaplain, one of my patients was a 97-year-old woman from Jamaica named Betty. Talking with her was the highlight of my day. Though Betty was full of joy and laughter, she hadn’t had an easy life. Growing up in poverty and spending much of her adult life as a maid, Betty had suffered much. But when we spoke of her coming death, a profound look of peace would settle over her face. She’d sigh and talk about the many people she’d lost and was looking forward to seeing again.
The author of Hebrews writes that Moses “considered abuse suffered for the Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the reward” (11:26). Like Moses, Betty didn’t look upon her suffering with anger but focused instead on the rewards of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. And she looked to the heavenly reward in front of her, allowing her to experience a peaceful and joyful end-of-life transition. This is what the author of Hebrews means when he writes that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (11:1). Our faith allows our hope for new life to become reality.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- Have you ever made a difficult decision based on faith alone? What was the outcome?
- What role does faith play for you when you experience life’s challenges?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- How can faith help us when we are afraid?
God of all people, we thank you for sending us your prophets to teach us your ways. Moses taught us to live by faith in trying circumstances, and we know that your promises for new life await us even in the darkest of places. Strengthen our faith, Lord, that we may more deeply rely on your promises of new life for us all.