By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones. By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. Hebrews 11:22-23 NIV
When we accept Christ, we are taking our first leap of faith. We set aside our disbelief and received the promise in that initial step. It's nothing tangible we can't smell, touch, see, hear or taste it, yet we trust in the unseen. As we continue on our faith journey, there are other times when we act in this same faith, not because we understand, but we hold to the promise.
Hebrews 11 is filled with several "by faith" examples from the Old Testament. They suffered oppression, torture, and even death while still clinging to their faith in God's unfolding plan. They did not get to see the coming Messiah, the fulfillment of hope, yet their faith played pretty vital roles in that plan. Paul concludes the chapter with these verses, "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect." (39-40) They did not see the end of the story, but each in their faith played an important part in God’s plan.
God's plan is still unfolding. Yes, Jesus came and fulfilled a significant promise. However, God's plan didn't end there but merely started the next phase. As disciples, we are also part of that plan, living out our faith by following Christ's example and continuing in his work. Will Jesus come again in our lifetime? We don't know, but in faith, we press forward in the knowledge there's something better for us, and when we stand before God on that final day, we want to be included in those names who have lived by faith.
Awesome God of something better, help us to live by faith. Help us as we follow the example of Jesus, extending love, kindness, and compassion. Please give us the courage of Jesus to stand up for the oppressed and oppose injustice. Give us the words to share your unfolding plan with others. Help us to be counted among the saints that live by faith. In the name of your Son and our Savior, we pray. Amen.