written by Matt Hindley

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1NRSV

This last Easter Sunday, we sang a song titled “Hymn of Promise”. If you have attended a United Methodist church over the years then this song is probably known to you, maybe even one of your favorites (it’s one of mine). In its verses we sing of the promise of each coming spring after a cold winter, the hope that comes from a light in the dark, and of new beginnings from each ending. It is not only a “Hymn of Promise”, it’s a hymn of hope, and a hymn of faith.

Around fifteen years ago, I set a goal that I would read the entire Bible. I did not set a timeline, I simply challenged myself to read at least a chapter before each day was over. Almost at the end of my goal, I came upon the book of Hebrews, and in it a chapter that resonated with me. Chapter 11 starts with the verse written above and moves on to recount the many acts of blind faith over the years from Noah and the Ark to Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt and more.

-who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions... -Hebrews 11:33 NRSV

While we may not be called to shut the mouths of lions, we are called to live in faith; to live in the assurance of things hoped for but not seen. The second verse of “Hymn of Promise” is my favorite. It goes like this:

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
there’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.*

I cannot see the future, but I can have faith in the one who can.

Prayer: God, it is often hard to wait for the dawn when we go through the darkness of life’s troubling times. We get caught up in our suffering and forget to seek Your presence. We forget to have faith in things unseen. Help us instead to trust in You and Your unfailing, never-ending love for each of us. Guide us as we walk by faith and not by sight. Amen.       
*”Hymn of Promise”, Natalie Sleeth © 1986 Hope Publishing Co.
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