Where Must Faith Always Look? I’m sure we all know that the answer is Christ – at least we ought to! I know, but I’m afraid I don’t always live it. I need constant reminders. So this isn’t me sermonizing (I’m unqualified); it’s a confession of my failing, and a passing on of a message from someone else…
That someone else is Ian Hamilton. The message comes from his little book The Faith Shaped Life. In the Chapter Where Faith Always Looks, Hamilton tells us that he has never been in the habit of making New Year resolutions. But he then recounts why he broke the habit of not making a resolution.
The reason he broke his habit was that he’d been reading through the Letter to the Hebrews. Hamilton noted that it was a “fascinating,” “sobering,” “and richly encouraging read.” The Hebrew Christians had come under the influence of false teaching and were pressured to “give up on Christ and return to Judaism.”
Hamilton writes that, “They had become ‘dull of hearing’ (Heb. 5:11).” They had slowly become spiritually deaf. They allowed the (significant) pressures of life to “de-centre Jesus in their lives” and “he was no longer the chief object of their faith and the first call upon their love.” The writer admonishes them to consider Christ (Heb 3:1, 12:2-3)!
This is a human condition I must contend with on a daily basis. It’s a daily struggle for me. And I bet I’m not alone.
In many respects the whole of the letter [Hebrews] is a sustained appeal for these embattled believers to see just how great their Saviour is: superior to all God’s angels; superior to great Moses; superior to Aaron and the priesthood; he is the One who is faithful over God’s house ‘as a Son’ (Heb. 3:6); he is the One who ‘has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by sacrifice of himself’ (Heb. 9:26); he is the One who ‘always lives to make intercession’ for God’s children (Heb. 7:25); and he is the One who is not ashamed to call us brothers (Heb. 2:11).
Considering all the above, Hamilton resolved (God helping him) to more deliberately consider Christ. He observes that this should be the daily resolve of every Christian – yet he felt the need to make that resolve more deliberate. I need to do it as well.
Finally, Hamilton leaves us this beautiful snippet of a hymn….
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
From Helen H. Lemmel’s hymn, ‘O soul, are you weary and troubled?’