“Persevering Faith” – Hebrews 11:1-3

January 2, 2022

“Persevering Faith” – Hebrews 11:1-3

Passage: Hebrews 11:1-3
Service Type:

Hear now the word of the Lord from Hebrews 11:1-3.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.Hebrews 11:1-3, ESV

This is the word of the Lord. When I served in college ministry, I worked in college ministry for a few years about 10 years ago or so. It was fairly routine on any given day to meet with a wide variety of students, each of whom carried a wide variety of outlooks on faith. So, for example, in the morning, I might meet with a student who professed faith in Christ who wanted to grow in their understanding of the Bible, deepen their understanding of theology, who was eager to be discipled. Then in the afternoon, I might step into a very different meeting with a Muslim who had a very different outlook on faith. Then in the evening, I'd wrap it up with a meeting with an unchurched, though maybe spiritually interested student.

Now engaging with such a wide variety of students, no meeting, as you can imagine, was the same. There were unique challenges in addressing the diversity of students. But as I recall, one of the particularly challenging kinds of meetings were the ones when I'd meet with a student who professed Christ, who claim to have faith in Christ, who spoke even using insider Christian language, but who wasn't in any other way living a meaningful Christian life. In other words, among a certain group of students I found there was always a palpable disconnect between the faith that these students claimed and the lives that they lived.

Of course, in our day and age, this disconnect between faith and life is fairly common. You see, on the one hand, faith is often called upon in our world, looked at in our world as a virtuous thing. It might be increasingly less honorable or virtuous to identify as a Christian, but to be a person of faith or whatever that means is still considered more or less noble. Yet, what the world means by faith is often radically different than what the Bible means when it stresses the necessity of faith.

You see, according to our secular age, faith is little more than positive thinking. It's an add on or a fallback when our carefully crafted plans fail and when things move outside of our control. For so many in our world, the only time faith really comes into play is when we encounter something that we can't think our way through or pay our way out of. Then, like Indiana Jones, we take a leap of faith and hope against all hope that it works out.

Brothers and sisters, that's not how the Bible understands faith. Now, the last time we were in Hebrews several weeks ago, now we heard our author tell us at the end of chapter 10, "my righteous one shall live by faith". You see, according to the author of Hebrews, faith is the principle that we live by. It's not something we retreat to as a last ditch plan. Faith is what sustains the people of God in the good and the bad, and it's the means by which we persevere as the people of God.

Then the chapter before us chapter 11, a chapter sometimes referred to as the Hall of Faith. Our author, as we'll see later, marshals a cloud of witnesses. He talks about men and women who throughout the scriptures, demonstrated lives of persevering faith in Christ and the promises of God. So that we as the people of God here in the 21st century would first of all, grasp how important faith is for living our lives as Christians and what it means when the Bible talks about faith.

Now for today's text, we're not going to study the entirety of Hebrews 11. We're just going to examine the first three verses. In these three verses, we're going to hear that there is no radical disconnect between faith and life. Rather, the two go hand in hand. Faith, we'll hear, can't be our Plan B when Plan A fails. Rather, faith is what keeps us going. Faith is the engine that drives us. Faith lies at the heart of how we flourish as the people of God living in God's world.

So our big idea, pretty short and simple, it's that God summons us to a life of faith.

We'll see this in three points. The first point we'll look at the nature of faith. What is faith? Second, the necessity of faith. Why is faith important? Then third, the roots of faith. What sustains faith? What animates faith? So those are our three points the nature of faith, the necessity of faith, and then third and finally, the roots of faith.

1. The Nature of Faith
2. The Necessity of Faith
3. The Roots of Faith

The Nature Faith

Let's start with the first the nature of faith. If faith really is that integral to our lives, which is what Hebrews and really the rest of the Bible stresses. If the world often gets faith wrong, well, then it's probably important that we have a clear definition of what faith is and what faith does. Fortunately in verse one of our passage, our author does just that.

Again, he tells us, "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Now, this isn't an exhaustive definition of faith. There's more that we could probably say about faith if we brought in other texts from elsewhere in the Bible. When we home in on the definition that the author of Hebrews gives us here in verse one, there are two really important pieces of information about faith that emerge.

First, we learn that faith involves a certain kind of stance or posture in the present. The way the ESV puts it is that faith involves both assurance and conviction. In other words, faith isn't about taking some kind of leap into a dark void and then clinging to some tenuous hope that things work out for the best. Now, of course, that's often how faith is framed in our world. Faith is often juxtaposed in our world with reason.

While it would make sense to our world to be convicted and assured by reason, to say the same thing about faith just doesn't make sense to many of our unbelieving friends and neighbors. Yet the Bible claims that there is a kind of certitude or boldness or assurance that attends our faith and we should therefore walk in confidence about the truth that we profess through faith in Christ. We can be confident about our standing with God in the present and firm in our conviction that Christ will one day lead us into our heavenly homeland when our pilgrimage on Earth is complete.

With that said, we have to pause for a moment and do a little bit of heavy lifting on this passage and home in specifically on these two words that the ESV renders assurance and conviction. The New Testaments was originally written in Greek and the two Greek words that lie behind these two words are quite difficult to translate. Commentators wrestle with how exactly to understand them.

Now, I won't get too far into the weeds on this, but to give a basic overview of how scholars approach this verse, there are basically two ways to understand these words that the ESV translates assurance and conviction. If you're using one of the sermon worksheets today, I direct your attention to that chart on the first page, which kind of outlines this. So on the one hand, we could understand these words in the way that the ESV and the NIV indicate where faith is about having a certain attitude in the present. Again, an attitude of certainty, confidence assurance about the truth we profess and the hope we look forward to.

On the other hand, many commentators actually follow the King James Version where we read, "faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." Now when we understand verse one in this way, the essence of faith isn't so much about an attitude that we possess in the present, as much as it is a statement about the reality of God's promises in the present. In other words, to say that faith is the substance of things hoped for or the evidence of things seen, is to say that our faith in the president rests on a real and solid foundation.

Faith, in other words, isn't about just crossing our fingers and hoping things work out for the best when we have no reason to otherwise think that way. Rather, faith brings the promises of God into the present and rests upon those promises as the bedrock for living the Christian faith. So whereas the ESV frames faith as a subjective attitude towards the promises of God, the King James Version frames faith as the objective reality of those promises and the believer's life here and now.

Now, whichever translation we ultimately adopt here in verse one, and it really is difficult to say which one is intended. The good news at the end of the day is that both are ultimately true. It really is true that our faith in the present here and now rests on real, substantive spiritual realities and the present realities that we then live by realities that profoundly shape our present lives.

We are not foolish, in other words, to believe the things that we believe because these are real, substantive things. One commentator writes that, "faith is living in accord with the reality of things hoped for", and that's true. It's right and good that our faith would be shaped by something that's real and true and substantive and that our lives would be conformed in the present. On the other hand, it really is true that faith therefore adopts an unwavering attitude of certainty towards the promises of God in the present.

So, at the end of the day, these two translations are really just two sides of the same coin. New Testament commentator Richard Phillips summarizes it like this, he writes, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, is the foundation upon which they are brought into being. It is a confident attitude towards those things God has promised, and it is the guarantee that gives us offshore possession even now."

In summary then, faith is very much about having a present posture of certainty based on the substance of what God says is real and true and will one day most certainly come to pass. At the same time, our author tells us that faith involves a particular posture in the present. He also reminds us in the same verse, verse one, that faith also looks to something outside of ourselves. Again, it's not about having faith in ourselves, that's not the essence of biblical faith. It's certainly not as the great theologian Julie Andrews puts it, "having confidence in confidence alone" or faith in faith alone. Rather, faith looks outside of ourselves. It looks outside of you and me, and it centers on a particular object.

So if you notice on a passage in the same verse, in verse one, our author tells us that faith is in fact oriented towards two things. He tells us that it's oriented towards things hoped for and things unseen. You see what gives faith it's substance and what generates the kind of confidence we talked about a moment ago are spiritual realities that lie beyond this age and outside the world.

So what are some of the things hoped for and the things unseen that are faith looks towards? Well, the Bible tells us that there are a number of things that we look forward to in the future or that we should look forward to in the future. The Bible looks forward to the resurrection of the dead when Christ comes again. The Bible looks forward to the day when sin and death will be no more. The Bible looks forward to the day when the nation stopped raging against the Lord as his Christ. So too, the Bible also tells us that there are plenty of unseen things in this world things that might be imperceptible to sense's perception, but things that faith grasps as real and true.

For example, the Bible tells us that we might not see with our eyes Christ present reign over the cosmos, but it's true that he undoubtedly reigns over the present cosmos here and now as king and Lord. The Bible tells us that though we don't see it by sight, Christ is also our advocate before the Father in Heaven. The Bible tells us that though there are no written records in a courthouse somewhere, that we are through faith nevertheless justified, made right, in God's heavenly courts.

Understand, then, that a biblical faith looks outside of ourselves. It looks outside of this world, and it rests on what God says is real and true and right. It looks forward to what God promises. This is actually a really, really important point because if faith isn't looking in the right direction, if faith isn't oriented towards what God promises, well then, our faith will ultimately be useless.

Back in the summer of 1944, so this would be right at the height of World War Two, the Japanese military was at a critical point in the war. They knew that if they didn't come up with a monumental victory soon that they were probably going to lose the entire thing. So in the summer of 1944 the Japanese military devised a complex plan to launch a surprise attack against the U.S. fleet stationed off the Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Their goal was to cripple the U.S. Navy.

So on June 19th, 1944, the Japanese had the plan, they launched from their nine aircraft carriers in the Pacific. A total of 373 aircraft that were intent on decimating the U.S. fleet. As the Japanese aircraft were on their way, long before they ever arrived at the 14 U.S. carriers, they were intent on sinking and destroying, they met hundreds of U.S. fighter aircraft waiting in the skies over the Pacific to snuff out the attack. You see the Japanese military, their plan had failed so spectacularly, and these U.S. fighters caught the Japanese military so off guard that the skirmish over the skies of the Pacific that day became known as the Great Mariana's Turkey Shoot because the U.S. fighters downed a total of 243 Japanese aircraft.

So how is it that Japan was caught so off guard? Well, the Japanese had no idea that the U.S., over the previous few years, had made such advances in radar technology that every single U.S. aircraft carrier in the fleet had a top of the line radar system that could see the Japanese armada coming from hundreds of miles away. Radar, in other words, proved to be the key in the U.S. victory that day.

When you really think about it, radar might have been a vital tool, but radar by itself isn't effective by itself. You see, if the U.S. fighters didn't respond to what they saw on the radar scope that day, well, of course, that tool would have proved useless. If their radar arrays were pointed towards the surface of the ocean rather than towards the sky, they would have never seen the enemy's armada coming. Radar would again be a useless tool if it weren't pointed in the right direction.

Friends, this is how faith works. Do you see faith in Christ really is able to get us through the onslaught brought about by our sworn enemies, the world, the flesh and the devil? A life of faith can accomplish a great deal in service to the Lord. In our next point, we're going to talk about how we can't even be in a right relationship with God, apart from faith. Faith is really important. It's the whole ballgame. But if our faith is pointed in the wrong direction, it'll be useless.

You see, the effectiveness of our faith ultimately depends on what it's pointed towards. It depends on its object. We could have faith in ourselves all we want, but I'm pretty sure that if we actually had a sober evaluation of ourselves, we'd see that's a terrible idea. We could have faith in humanity all we want, but friends, humanity is just composed of a billion sinners like you and me. Instead, our author tells us that a true faith, a biblical faith, is by its nature, outward oriented. It's oriented towards all the promises of God. In particular, biblical faith is oriented towards the one who promises and the one in whom all the promises of God find their yes and amen, namely Jesus Christ. That's where faith gets its power. That's what dictates whether or not we can walk rightly in this world as a people with certainty about the future. It all rests on Christ as our object of faith.

Brothers and sisters, ask yourself, what is my faith pointed towards? You see, everyone has faith. Faith is inevitable in this life. Even the biggest atheist you would ever meet is a person of faith. The question is, after arriving at that conclusion, what is my faith? If you've reached the conclusion that it's not pointed towards Christ, if it's not pointed in the right direction, well, then that you would readjust and that you would adjust course and place your faith in the unseen but hoped for Christ. The nature of true biblical faith friends demands nothing less.

The Necessity of Faith

Our author has told us quite a bit about the nature of faith, about what faith is about, where faith looks, and where it should be directed. In verse two, he then underscores the importance of having this kind of faith.

Again, our author writes in verse two, "For by it the people of old received their commendation". Now, while the author of Hebrews calls all of us to live the kind of faith, he articulated in verse one, here in verse two he tells us that the people of God throughout the ages have always lived by this kind of faith. In what follows, in the rest of chapter 11, and we will cover that next time we're in the book of Hebrews, we're going to see our author appeal to some of the famous believers of the Old Testament. He's going to talk a lot about Abraham and Noah and Moses. He's going to tell us how all of these great figures throughout the Old Testament, how all of them lived by faith. All of these figures, they walk, not by what they could grasp or in this world, rather, they lived in their present time and place with certainty about the reality of their future hope. They lived according to the things they hope for, and as a result of embodying that kind of faith our author tells us in verse two that these people of old were commended by God.

Now the importance of this claim, though, has to be seen in view of the lives of nearly everyone in the upcoming list. In other words, if we were to go through and we'll do this, perhaps next time we're in Hebrews, the names of everyone in the ensuing list, we would probably be reminded of some good stories in their lives, but also of some bad stories in their lives as well. In other words, for many of these figures in the in the various texts that record their actions in the Bible, we read several accounts of their miserable foibles that characterized their lives.

So to give you this one example of this Noah, for example, he celebrated in verse seven of chapter 11 of Hebrews as an heir of righteousness and an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. Yet, in Genesis nine, we read how Noah plants a vineyard after the flood subsides. He makes wine from the vineyard and is subsequently found drunk and naked by his sons. In the same way, if we hold up a magnifying glass to every single person in the list of Hebrews 11, we would find skeletons in the closet. Yet in Hebrews 11, we read in verse two that these people are commended by God. So how do we explain that?

A few years ago, a friend of mine was holding an investigative Bible study on his college campus for students who are interested in learning more about the Bible. He worked at the time in the for the same college ministry that I worked for. So one evening I showed up to his college campus to see what the study was all about and to support my friend. Now, I can't quite remember what we were studying that evening, but I do remember that we were all placed in small groups after the big presentation and in my small group there was a Muslim student who I was pretty sure was trying to convert me. Nevertheless, in the course of our conversation, this Muslim student got quite offended by something I said about King David.

You see, we were talking about the Bible and I mentioned something about King David sinned with Bathsheba. You know, the well-known account in 2 Samuel, where King David commits adultery. When I mentioned that event, this Muslim student looked at me dumbfounded, and he responded emphatically, "No, that didn't happen." So I explained the story from the Bible. I gave him the reference. I might have even turned to the text in the Bible, too. Yet he was stubbornly insistent that prophets, and in Islam David is considered a prophet, and righteous people like David, they don't make mistakes. He insisted that David would have never done something like commit adultery. You see, for this Muslim student, someone could never get as close to God as David got if David did those kinds of things. People don't get access to God when they do immoral things like David does in 2 Samuel 11.

Of course, what the Bible insists upon is that every person who has ever lived, with the lone exception of Jesus Christ, has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is no except for Jesus, who is inherently righteous. If it depended upon our own inherent righteousness or goodness to be close to God, to be in right standing with God, well, then it's understandable why we would want to do everything in our power to minimize our failures and those of people like David.

Friends, this is where the gospel of Jesus Christ comes in. Because though no one can get to God on the basis of their own morality or intellect, God came down to us in the person of Jesus Christ so that all who look to Jesus Christ by faith would be counted righteous in him. Understand that the author of Hebrews here isn't trying to bury the shortcomings of the various believers he cites. He's not whitewashing the stories of these Old Testament believers. Rather, he's pointing out the necessity of faith. If these believers were judged on the basis of their own morality, none of them would have stood a chance, and each one, far from being commended by God would have actually been condemned by God. Yet through faith and faith alone and the promises of God and in the one whose promises we are found righteous with God, through a righteousness that is not our own.

You see what our author is keying into here in verse two is what we call justifying faith. That is, when we're convinced of our sin and misery and of our inability to rescue ourselves out of that condition will face looks to the one who can. Faith looks to Christ to his perfect record of righteousness for forgiveness of sins and for acceptance before God. Justifying faith is how we claim Christ and his record as our own. It's the only way that we can find acceptance and commendation before God as fallen and broken sinners that we all are. So are you looking to Christ alone for acceptance in this world? Or instead, are you insistently standing upon your own reputation, your own morality, your own goodness, your own inherent righteousness, and either burying your sins or whitewashing your failures?

Brothers and sisters understand that the human heart craves acceptance, and I'm sure that some of us can think back with brokenness and sadness to some of the awful things that we've done in the past to get from someone else just scraps of approval in return. Or perhaps we think back to a time where we gave everything, we had to get commendation from someone we looked up to, only to fall short and have all of our labors be for nothing. Friends before the God of the cosmos, a God who can't settle for imperfection, it's nevertheless possible to find full approval, full commendation before him, but that's not going to happen apart from claiming Christ and his record by faith alone as your own.

So the question stands, are you looking to Jesus Christ and what he's already done for your comfort and relief in this world? Is that the linchpin that's freed you to be bold and sacrificially loving in this world? The author of Hebrews would remind us, that the only way God's people have ever been commended by God is through faith, through a faith that receives what Christ has already done.

So then faith, it's not just an addition to the Christian life. It's certainly not something that we fall back upon when the going gets tough. Faith is everything. It's important it has to be pointed in the right direction, but faith is the only way that we gain commendation before God.

The Roots of Faith

Our author tells us as we wrap up and we come to verse three that the only way that we'll grow in this kind of faith is when its roots are planted in the right soil. Again, look at verse three, where we read, "By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible."

Now, throughout human history, there have been a diversity of thinking about the creation of the world, the creation of the cosmos. Several early Greek philosophers, people like Elusiveness and Democritus and Plato, believe that matter, that is the stuff that makes up stuff, was eternal. It always was and therefore there was never a point when matter or things came into being. Then we turn to modern science, and modern science has its own theories about the origin of the universe, many of which posit a purely naturalistic explanation. According to the Bible, we have to insist that creation, including every atom and all molecules in existence, came into being by the spoken word of God. God spoke and out of nothing, creation emerged.

Now, on the one hand, the Bible tells us that God's handiwork in the creation of the world, that this fact should be evident by anyone, whether or not they have faith in God and his word or not. After all, the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans chapter one that God's invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made. You see, according to the Apostle Paul, anyone should be able to look out into the world and see God's hand in the creation of the cosmos. Yet, at the same time, because of human sin, the Apostle Paul also tells us in Romans one that this truth is very often suppressed and God is rarely acknowledged by the world to be what the scriptures insist that he is.

John Calvin, a famous theologian, explains that apart from faith in God and his word, one could perhaps form an opinion about God as the creator of the world. But then Calvin writes this, "As soon as they form a notion of some God, they become instantly vain in their imaginations and they grope in the dark. Having in their thoughts a mere shadow of some uncertain deity and not the knowledge of the true God." You see, according to Calvin, it should be clearly evident to everyone who's looking out in the world that God is the creator of all things. Everyone should clearly perceive marks of divinity woven into the fabric of the cosmos, but because of sin, this is something that in its fullness, our author tells us, must be perceived by faith through the revelation of God's written word.

You see, at this point in our passage, our author is drilling down to the foundations, the foundations of what ground a robust and biblical faith. In short, it's God's word. It was God's word, he tells us, that had the power to speak into being things that were not. It's through God's written word that we can perceive these things as true. It's God's word, which forms the bedrock that our faith that drills down to the depths of for its nourishment and strength. As Richard Phillips writes, "If God's word was capable of creating everything out of nothing, then surely that word is a sufficient ground for our hope."

What this means, then, when the rubber meets the road is that it's impossible to grow in our faith, apart from abiding in God's word. If we're not actively looking to God's word, we will then end up expecting a number of things to happen that God's word never promises. Then our faith will be shaken when it didn't work out the way we expected. If we're not looking at God's word, we're vulnerable each and every day to have our lives turned upside down, our hope obscured, and our faith redirected towards worthless and powerless objects.

So friends to flourish as God's people, we need to be anchored in God's word and so do you have an intentional plan to do just that? You see, we've mentioned over the previous month the importance about having a Bible reading plan heading into 2022. And so do you have one or at least, are you taking a proactive approach to the Bible? You see, this world is always categorizing its citizens. We're constantly receiving input from this world about what's true, about what's just about who God is, about what humanity is like, about the future that we should be aiming towards, and so on and so forth. If we're not filtering those messages through what God says, well, then we will inevitably end up appropriating things that are neither good nor true.

A Biblical faith, then, is a faith that has to be rooted and grounded in God's word. Understand that to walk in this world by faith that's not rooted like that is just not a comfortable place to be. In recent years, and quite honestly, I'm not sure how far back it goes, a number of professing Christians or I guess now self-acknowledged former Christians have been vocal advocates of a phenomenon known as deconstructing their faith. Now, deconstruction, you might have heard of it, is it is a process where, as the name suggests, one begins to pick apart their belief system by discarding certain beliefs and then constructing a new belief system that's honestly more acceptable and trendier in this world.

Now, this process of deconstruction usually begins when someone finds something about the Christian faith unpalatable. Someone might deconstruct their faith because they had an awful church experience and if the church is integral to Christianity, one could potentially reason "How could I ever be a Christian if this is what Christians are like?" Then one could, from that point onward, deconstruct everything they've ever believed in.

Another reason might be prompted by the growing conflict between the Bible's view on sex and gender. If the Bible insists on such a particular sexual ethic, which it does, then one could likewise reason, "How could I be a Christian when the Bible is so sexually repressive and reject certain forms of 'love'?" See, there are a number of reasons why people in our world are walking down this trendy road right now of deconstruction and other.

Others have written at length about this phenomenon and the various motives that lead people down this path. But sadly, very few if any, end up in a better place as a result. Now understand that things like doubt or hurtful experiences at the hands of other Christians or social ostracization in this world as Christians for our faith, are part and parcel of living the Christian life. The challenge when we experience those sorts of things isn't to deconstruct your faith and question everything you've ever believed in. It's not to let that doubt or bitterness or shame spread like a virus in your soul. Rather, the solution is to remind yourself what's true and what's good and to solidify your faith. Let the roots of your faith reach down deep into God's word.

Now, maybe the issue is that you're questioning the truthfulness or the veracity of God's word. Maybe you read this declaration in Hebrews 11:3 that God created the world out of nothing by his word. Immediately you sense a conflict. You sense a conflict between that declaration and modern science. Or maybe the issue is you're struggling with why the Bible articulates a sexual ethic that seems really harsh, and you're not sure what to do with that.


Well, first and foremost, let me encourage you friends to not neglect God's word. Do not neglect the Bible. Read it, study it, be challenged by it. Second, invite other people in the church into your doubts. There are solid Christians in the church who have most likely processed through your questions. You're not the first one who's ever had those questions. There are other trustworthy Christians who study these issues, who studied what the Bible has to say. It can help you along that road in processing your doubts.

Friends don't run away from the church as if silence and solace will help you think clearly, it just won't. Being submersed in the echo chamber of your own doubts or bitterness will only reinforce that doubt and stir up that bitterness and you'll never actually see the fallacies in your own reasoning or the devastation you're doing to your own soul. Instead, friends plunge yourself into the deep end of God's word, bring other people in the church alongside you, and do not deconstruct your faith. Rather, shore up the foundation of your faith in the written revelation of God's infallible word.

It's God's word that has the power to comfort the weary and the broken, especially when we experience the wounds at the hands of others. It's God's word that has the power to cut through crippling doubt. It's God's word that is the food to nourish the soul, to build up our faith in the pilgrimage that we're all on to the celestial city. Friends reach into God's word and shore up the foundation of your faith in God's word.

And on that note, as we prepare to conclude, let me leave us with this as we find nourishment for our soul in the Lord's Supper. As we prepare to do that, let me leave us with this. One day friends, what we perceive right now by faith, the hope that we look forward to by faith, the hope that we cling to with certainty in the present by faith, we will one day see by sight. So therefore friends first persevere in the present by faith.

Let me pray, Father, we do give you thanks that you are the God who gives us the gift of faith so that we can receive and rest upon Christ alone, as he's offered in the gospel for our salvation. We pray, Lord, that in the moments and times of our lives where we're not looking in the right direction, that you would by your Spirit, redirect our faith towards you, towards the objects that the Bible holds out for us and not toward worthless things. We pray, Lord, that we would do due diligence by your Spirit and dig down deep into your world to find nourishment for our soul and to build up the foundation of our faith. We ask all of this in Christ's name. Amen.