God’s words come to us in a context, with a message, for a reason. They are not abstract words. They speak to us in our context with relevance to our present experience. After all, our questions and needs have not changed through the ages. So the answers that help give us enduring faith in a time of fear have not changed either.
Faced with Human Frailty
As human beings many of us seek to manage our vulnerability through things like medical insurance. As communities we are now facing a threat over which we have little to no control in COVID-19. We feel exposed, vulnerable and fragile. It reminds us of our fundamental human frailty and our common response is fear and anxiety.
Examine Where you Place your Faith
Yet it is at such times that we must reckon with the real, deeper questions of life and examine carefully the security of what we are build ing our lives on. We should interrogate our faith and see what it is really built upon. It even helps to ask what is faith? And how can I get more?
We don’t just ‘muster up’ more faith. We fix our eyes on Jesus
It’s not enough to just tell each other to have more faith. We don’t just ‘muster up’ more faith. We fix our eyes on Jesus – the author and perfecter of faith. Belief begets behaviour. That’s the order. We believe then we behave accordingly. But we get the belief and then the behaviour by renewing our minds and hearts constantly – consistently – in the truth of Christ. That Gospel truth. By fixing our heart’s eye on Him.
Keep your Eyes Fixed on Christ
We must look to Jesus who in the garden [of Gethsemane] in that moment of personal turmoil as he anticipates when he would go to the cross depends on God. God the covenant making faithful promise-keeping father. He prays “not my will, but yours” and is able to realise that peace, that rest, even as he is about to step into a truly traumatic experience.
the Coronavirus, struggles of life, the false promises of our world which fail us, will not have the final word.
We see the hope which was set before Christ in action as he trusts in the prior promises of the God who has laid this all out. Then 3 days later he rises again in victorious life. Signalling to us this day that the Coronavirus, struggles of life, the false promises of our world which fail us, will not have the final word. The assurance of what he has won is ours. He has done it. And he calls us to live as the people of faith.
Text: Hebrews 11:1 – 12:3
Date preached: 15 March 2020
Location: Hope City Presbyterian Church, Cape Town, South Africa