If faith is confidence in God, then forged faith is confidence in God when—through the fire—it appears your confidence is misplaced. And that’s my definition for trust. To forge means to heat, temper, refine, and shape. Forging involves a furnace, stress, transformation, and plunging cold. It is necessary to repeat this process until the work is perfected.
Faith is belief. Trust is belief in spite of. Faith is placed. Trust is anchored in conviction (conviction is doubt run through the forging process).
The next-to-last verse of Hebrews 11—the faith chapter—notes that the tortured, the martyred, the destitute, and those afflicted on behalf of their faith died without seeing what they believed. It’s under these circumstances that superficial, self-serving faith withers and true faith is forged into trust.
These folks demonstrated faith tempered through personal histories into trust, trust that remained faithful…in spite of. Each one reached the terminus of life without seeing the fulfillment of God’s promise.
In other words, every one of these faith-filled people died trusting. As they gasped their final agony in the midst of awful circumstance everything indicated God had failed to keep His promise, i.e. lied to them.
As the enemy of their souls screamed indictments against God and pointed to the foolishness of their faith, deep in their hearts they must have heard the Lord saying, “Trust Me.” And they did. Their names and notes are in the chapter.
You and I have the benefit of looking backward over hundreds of years and seeing that God was faithful. He fulfilled His promises. The people in Hebrews 11 didn’t. They were all dead by the end of the chapter.
But their eternal roles do not end with their testimonies or the conclusion of the chapter.
Chapter twelve informs us that these great men and women of faith are now gathered in the grandstands of heaven, surrounding the playing field of Earth. From there, they cheer us on.
These are not armchair quarterbacks. They have been where we are. They know!
We’re in a big game—the game of our lives—and the crowd is into it. The angels offer encouragement, but the all-stars holler exhortations. They have the run the race, scaled the cliffs, forded the torrents, been through the fire, and faced the enemy.
Their word to us? The testimony of their lives?
Your faith is not misplaced. God is faithful. Trust!
So, stand encouraged. Their lives are a megaphone calling out the next cheer for the visiting team. That’s us.
This place is not our home. We’re only visiting this planet. Soon, we too will be in heaven’s grandstands where a faith all-star has a seat reserved next to him.