“Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.”Hebrews 11:8-10
In Hebrews 11, the “faith” chapter, the Hebrews writer defines faith and provides several biblical examples.
One outstanding example of faith the Hebrews writer describes is Abraham. The Hebrews writer reminds us how Abraham left his native land in obedience to God’s calling and went to Canaan where the nation of Israel was ultimately settled.
While Abraham traveled the full extent of the “promised” land, he never settled in one of the Canaanite cities but lived as a nomadic herdsman. Abraham’s son, Isaac, and grandson, Jacob, both lived the same way.
Since Abraham was promised the land of Canaan by God but never possessed it, the Hebrew writer says Isaac and Jacob inherited the promise of the land (vs. 9). Of course, we know that Abraham’s descendants never actually possessed the land of Canaan until after being a slave nation of Egypt for hundreds of years.
So what do we learn about faith from Abraham’s example? Faith is a confidence based on: (1) hope–confidence in a promise that has a future fulfillment, and (2) obedience–confident action in response to what God has made known.
Faith gives life purpose and meaning because faith allows us to live our lives confidently looking forward to what God has promised us in Christ regardless of present circumstances or events.