I am not the person you want to have a debate about faith with. I’d lose any argument about what it means to believe in the reality of God. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love talking about that reality, but faith is a choice. Not a debate.
Hebrews 11 is the great faith chapter of the Bible. The writer wants to help his audience renew their trust in Jesus. One of the ways he does that is by reminding them of so many others who have believed. It was “by faith” ordinary people became heroes of the Bible.
But those great acts of faith we remember were not accidental. They were a choice. For example, Abraham “considered” the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead” (11:19). Also, Moses chose “rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (11:25).
There are more faith throwbacks in the entire chapter. Some you know and others maybe you’ve forgotten about. I’m not hesitant to suggest that each person had to make faith choices. Yes, we remember their faithful actions. And there are countless sermons about perseverance and hope drawn from them. Many consider the entire book of Hebrews to be a sermon.
At the same time, none of what encourages us happens without a choice to follow God. The biblical figures of Hebrews 11 chose obedience over selfishness, fear or doubt. Even people of faith we have known in our lives lived by the choice of faith.
That’s why I’m not good at debating faith. You can tell me how much something doesn’t make sense. That I can’t prove what I believe. You can tell me all about what we don’t know in the universe. You can remind me how much I can’t explain about who God is. In the end, I’ll tell you you’re right. You won that debate. And you’ll win the next one.
Because it doesn’t take proof to have faith. It takes a choice.