Faith is Confidence in What We Hope For and Assurance About What We Do Not See
|Night photograph of the Endurance by Frank Hurley. Taken in June 1915. |
[Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division]
One of the most inspirational stories on the power of persistence and faith is that of Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.—Hebrews 11:1
In January 1915, the ship Endurance was trapped and crushed in the ice off the coast of Antarctica. The group of polar explorers, led by Ernest Shackleton, survived and managed to reach Elephant Island in three small lifeboats. Trapped on this uninhabited island, far from normal shipping lanes, they had one hope. On April 24, 1916, 22 men watched as Shackleton and five comrades set out in a tiny lifeboat for South Georgia, an island 800 miles away. The odds seemed impossible, and if they failed, they would all certainly die. What joy, then, when more than four months later a boat appeared on the horizon with Shackleton on its bow shouting, “Are you all well?” And the call came back, “All safe! All well!”
What held those men together and kept them alive over those months? Faith and hope placed in one man. They believed that Shackleton would find a way to save them.
This human example of faith and hope echoes the faith of the heroes listed in Hebrews 11. Their faith in the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” kept them going through great difficulties and trials (Hebrews 11:1, NKJV).
As we look out upon the horizon of our own problems, may we not despair. May we have hope through the certainty of our faith in the One Man—Jesus, our God and Savior. —Randy Kilgore
Thank You, Father, for the promise of forgiveness made possible by Jesus. May that promise lighten the darkest of our days. The hope of Jesus shines brightly even on our darkest day.
INSIGHT: We can take courage and hope from those who have preceded us in the life of faith. The author of Hebrews lists many examples of people who acted in faith despite their circumstances and despite the fact that they had not yet received what “had been promised” (11:39). This is why Hebrews 11 begins by saying that “faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” J.R. Hudberg
From today's Our Daily Bread