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“According to Bishop Kallistos Ware, “Faith is not the supposition that something might be true, but the assurance that someone is there.” It is now our turn to be instructed in faith by these saints of old, who understood faith as confidence in God, a willingness to trust in His promises, and a full acquiescence to His will. Faith means living confidently in every circumstance, without tangible proofs. The materialist culture around us insists that such a life is foolhardy, for it is not based on hard, measurable facts. However, the righteous servants of God in today’s reading [Hebrews 11:8-10, 32-40] lived confidently because they knew in their hearts that God “is there.” (Dynamis 12/19/2021)

“…though we suffer the tribulations of spiritual warfare, the Lord promises us peace (John 16:33)–but peace only “in Him” (John 16:33). The Lord said, “I have overcome the world,” at the very time that he was facing the dark hour of His Passion. It was as if the conquest of death and the devil had already happened. It was as if the victory had already been won. And, indeed, it was during and not just after His Passion that the Lord did conquer. As Judas left the supper to carry out his betrayal the Lord, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him” (John 16:31). Therefore, in Christ, we have the “peace” of His ultimate and final victory. We have this confidence by faith. The apostle puts it, “This is the victory that overcomes the world–our faith” (1 John 5:4). This promise means that by Christ’s triumph, we have already overcome every tribulation, trial, conflict, or sorrow that we could ever face. By faith, we participate in that victory. As fans of a winning team share in the glory of that triumph with their cheers, hugs, and waving banners, so by faith, we already possess the victory of Christ.” (Fr. Basil)

“Hebrews [chapter 11] recounts the sufferings of the Old Testament saints who looked forward in faith to the coming of the Messiah. They “did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” Our vocation is nothing less than to become perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. That is possible only when we share personally in the healing and restoration of the human person in God’s image and likeness which the Savior has accomplished and shares with us.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“Although on the face of it the sacrifice of Isaac seems contradictory and irrational, the underlying cause of the patriarch’s actions is his absolute trust in God’s word. He fully accepts the trustworthiness of what God has promised him. This trust is possible because the patriarch is certain that God is able to keep His promises. Today’s epistle reading [Hebrews 11:17-31] highlights the essential connection between promise and faith. As illustrations, Saint Paul offers us a series of faith-based actions by various Old Testament saints who trusted God’s promises. Each of them anchored his faith on the reliability of God. Their examples are especially important for us Christians struggling to live by faith in the strange land of contemporary materialist and secular culture.” (Dynamis 2/5/2024)

“God foresaw and foresees “something better for us” (Hebrews 11:40), so that as those who came before Christ, and those of us who live for Him today, can expect not only the blessings of God as we know them in this life, but even greater blessings in the life that is to come. The challenge for us as we journey to salvation is to be “well attested in our faith” (11:39) so that we are ready to receive what God has promised us.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“An oft-neglected emphasis in the New Testament author’s explanation of Christ’s resurrection is justification in the sense of vindication (Rom 4:25). There is good evidence, however, that this was a major theme in apostolic preaching (e.g. Acts 2:36; 5:30-31). Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, Israel’s God identifies with the powerless and the poor. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, He promises them not only healing and restoration but also justice. He promises that the day will come when He will once again order the world aright, vindicating them and lifting them up while those who have oppressed them, profited from their misery, and done them harm will be laid low. Christ’s resurrection is the beginning of the fulfillment of that promise.” (Fr. Stephen De Young)

“Grief cannot be eliminated in this world, and there is plenty to lament about the world. One only has to listen to almost any news broadcast to feel the need to weep for the inhabitants of the world. Yet, all of the sorrows still belong to the world which is constantly changing. There is hope, though some of that is only in the world to come. We will be comforted by God Himself in that time which God decides. We won’t simply hear good news, God Himself promises to take away our tears and sorrows.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“St. Paul’s observation that the promises of God are Yes, is a key to the daily struggle. The absence of sin isn’t the same thing as righteousness. Righteousness is a fullness and a presence. Sin itself is an emptiness and has the character of non-being. The spiritual life is fulfilled in righteousness – true rightness of being – living in the image of God. A simple way of living this reality is to say Yes. If I do not want to do one thing, then to what do I say Yes? If I do not want to hear something, to what do my ears say Yes? And so forth. And there is another step beyond. It is possible to say Yes repeatedly throughout the day. The simple phrase, “I say Yes to God,” carries a great deal of power. I have learned to make it a frequent confession in my day. I say Yes to God. I say Yes to my life. I say Yes to this problem. I say Yes to the mistakes I have made. It is a means of affirming that God is working all things together for my good – even my mistakes.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“God does not promise that we will never encounter tribulation nor escape it when it comes. But He does promise to sustain and strengthen us in it. In the midst of suffering and struggle, may we recall the Word of the apostle, “Who is he who overcomes the world, but He who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:5) and believing trust that He has already triumphed over whatever assaults us.” (Fr. Basil)

“The Apostle Paul assures us that the promises made to Abraham were not intended solely for that patriarch and his physical descendants, the children of Israel. Rather, God’s promises are for all who have “the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (Rom 4:16). God’s promise “shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead” Romans 13: 24). Let us have unwavering confidence and hope in God’s promises, even when events seem to run contrary to His word. For God’s word is capable of overturning our sensory impressions and even achieving what statistics assert to be impossible. Let us have unwavering hope in God; He performs His promises (vs. 21)!” (Dynamis 6/30/2021)


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