Faith in a New Year
By: Sydney Armstrong
“Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Hebrews 11 gives us a fascinating list of people who saw possibilities where others only saw dead ends, people who saw victory where others only saw defeat, and people who saw what God could do while others only saw what was impossible. Besides just seeing through faith, they acted on it as well. Faith was a verb for each of them, a spiritual muscle that enabled action.
Faith helped them to endure even in the face of adversity, like Joseph did in Egypt. They, like Gideon, were able to venture into the unknown and take chances. It should come as no surprise that this list concludes with “Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Jesus, Prince of Peace, is the one who brings peace to the world. Immanuel, our “God with us” is the name given to Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords!
We can reflect on people who have lived by faith, ancestors in Jesus’ extended family, and many more who have been accepted into God’s family as we look forward to a new year and the path of life ahead of us. Their experiences can inspire us. More than that, we can anticipate the One who smiles back at us, the One who came to die so that we might live with Him eternally.
Let us pray to Jesus for the bravery and strength we need to be the people of faith He has called us to be!