unrewarded faith

Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him. [Hebrews 11:6 WEB]

The 11th chapter of Hebrews is often referred to as the hall of fame of faith. The writer lists people from the scriptures who lived lives of faith. From Genesis he mentions Abel, Noah and Abraham as well as Isaac and Jacob. He reports that "these all died in faith, not having received the promises".

This last sentence calls into question the idea of God being a rewarder of seekers. Yet it also helps us to discern the upside down nature of divine rewards. Think of how Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, called people, who are poor and persecuted, blessed. How can these things be rewards?

Have you ever considered the idea that the reward of faith may not be for us but for others? In truth all of humanity was rewarded because of Noah's faith. The Jews were delivered by Moses faith. In this sense the reward was given to another. Perhaps that is the nature of heavenly rewards.

Perhaps our faithful endurance in poverty or persecution can be a pathway to blessings for our children? History is replete with such accounts. Yet the idea is challenging for those who want to be rewarded now. These forget that we seek God not to be rewarded but to know Him and his ways.

Lord, teach me to remember that that I do not seek you to be rewarded.

... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Hebrews.

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