“Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the belief in what we do not see.  This is why the ancients were commended.  By faith, we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen is made from what is not yet visible.”

Hebrews 11:1-3

Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:

  • This passage, depending on the translation, is sometimes titled, “The Triumph of Faith” or “Faith in Action.” 
  • The reference to the ancients reminds us to reflect on others’ achievements, so we can feel hopeful about our own.
  • Faith and hope work together.  For example, we can hope for a new, more fulfilling job. But we must act by uploading our resume to Indeed and taking other steps to get that job.  As we do, we can believe more fully in our ability to achieve what we want.
  • Knowing and understanding our beliefs helps us maintain a sense of equanimity so we appreciate that divine order unfolds in God’s time, even if we cannot yet see it.

Contemplation Questions:

Ask yourself:

  • What in my life right now is unfolding as I imagined it would?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as applies, no matter how small or insignificant they seem.
  • What in my life right now is not unfolding as I imagined it would?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as applies, no matter how small or insignificant they seem.
  • Of these things, what can be classified as static, better, worse, and/or different?
    • List, word map, illustrate, or color code each thing.
  • When I contemplate all of this together, what messages have I believed about them?   
    • List, word map, or illustrate the messages. 
  • When I contemplate the messages, which did I learn as a child?  Which were said in my family?  Which have I been taught about other people?  
    • Consider each message, noticing whether they include “all,” as in “all of us do this”; or “too” as in “too young”; or “not” as in “not strong enough.”
  • Again, contemplate the messages.  Breathe them in.  Say them aloud.  Notice how your body feels.  Do you still truly believe these messages?
    • If yes, how are they working for you?
      • What is your evidence?
    • If no, how are they hindering you?
      • What is your evidence?
    • If unsure, what are your doubts?
      • What is your evidence?
  • When I consider all the evidence, what is and is not still true for me?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as applies, separating them so you have evidence, a visible sign, of what does and does not work for you and your life now.
  • Who is at least one (1) close friend, family member, or colleague who believes in me and what I want to accomplish, and who will honor the healthy changes I am making?
    • Set a schedule for regular prayer time and check-ins with this person. 

Take your time with this devotional, being honest and gentle with yourself as you re-evaluate your beliefs and transform your thoughts and behavior.  Trust your own process, and know that as you transform yourself, the evidence of your transformation gives others hope, too.

© 2021 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

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