Happy New Year to everyone!
The year 2020 has taught us many things in life. It revealed the best in us, and also the worst in us. If there is one thing that Christians have learned last year, it is about faith — to have more faith in God despite of what is happening around us. Like the prayer of one man who asked for the help of Jesus, we also pray, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”
In Hebrews 11, we can read the names of people who were exemplary in their faith in God. It was written to encourage Christians who were being persecuted during that time. Hebrews 11:35ff recorded that “There were others who were tortured, faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.”
The Christians during those days were strengthened in their faith and went on to pass their faith to the next generation until it reached us. We, too, should be encouraged with the faith of these heroes and heroines of faith.
Let me mention just three:
First, let us have the faith of Noah. His faith is teaching us to obey God even though you do not know what will happen next.
Noah built the ark in the midst of the jeers of people who proclaimed that he was crazy. Eventually, his faith in God was validated.
Second, let us have the faith of Abraham. His faith is teaching us that we have to trust God in whatever place he will bring us.
Abraham and Sarah were uprooted from their place to go to the Promised Land. They fully trusted that God will make a way, and as we can see, God made a way and fulfill His promise to the couple.
Third, let us have the faith of Rahab. Her faith is teaching us to stand on the side of God no matter what will happen.
Rahab hid the two spies who were sent to scout Jericho. Because she saved them, God spared her life. She was a prostitute whose life was changed, and became the great great grandmother of Jesus.
As we face 2021, let us all continue to have faith in God.
May God bless us all!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Director, Office of Communications
Central Philippine University