When We Choose Faith
By Toby Crowder
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.” – Heb 11:24-26
Many of us rise every day and go to work with the motivation of getting a paycheck and it is that reward that keeps us going even on the days that we do not feel like it. Certainly, there are many other incentives in life, but we often persevere because we have a goal in mind. We are reading today of Moses, who denied the pleasures of sin “for a season” and instead chose a life of faith. This was not a careless decision that he made, but one of great purpose. Do we ever consider what really happens when we choose faith?
Even though there is much written in Scripture about faith, the eleventh chapter of Hebrews is often referred to as the “faith” chapter of the Bible. Hebrews 11:1, says that “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Matthew Henry says of faith: “It is a firm persuasion and expectation, that God will perform all he has promised to us in Christ.” This verse tells us that faith is the substance of our hope; it is what the elders looked to and hoped for. We absolutely cannot undermine the importance of this subject of faith! Also remember, that it is by faith that we are saved: Eph 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” A life of faith in God is a choice, and by choosing faith, we are also choosing some other things, which we see evidenced in the life of Moses.
By choosing faith, we are also accepting the CHANGE that it will bring to our life. You will find that when Moses chose to follow God, he was living what we may call a “charmed life.” Moses had a lot going for him including the privilege of riches and being the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, yet in choosing a life of faith, He CHOSE for this to change. Have you ever genuinely considered what changes your faith has made in your life? What does your faith make you want to do for God? If our faith does not bring about change and produce a desire to walk as He walked, then our efforts are in vain. 2 Cor 5:17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Moses’s choice of faith changed his life drastically and by choosing faith, (and choosing Christ) we are also choosing change in our life.
The Bible also tells us that Moses chose to SUFFER AFFLICTION, rather than the fleeting pleasures that sin brings. This choice does not seem natural to us because our flesh seeks and chooses pleasure. While it may seem that we do not intentionally choose the suffering or trials that life brings, many times God allows affliction into our lives to grow our faith. Warren Wiersbe explained it this way: “Our faith is not really tested until God asks us to bear what seems unbearable, do what seems unreasonable, and expect what seems impossible.” We all face affliction and trials during our lifetime, yet we persevere and grow in our faith.
Even though a life of faith may experience change and affliction, notice the VICTORY that Moses’ faith brought to him. We see in v.26 that he esteemed “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” and learn that Moses understood what many of us have failed to comprehend; that the reward of faith was not in the present but in God’s future! The reward that he claimed by faith was far greater than any earthly treasures or sinful pleasures. Therein lies the simple reminder for the child of God, that by choosing faith, (and choosing Christ) there may be change…and affliction… but also eternal victory!
Toby Crowder serves as Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Spruce Pine. He and his wife Leslie have been married for 28 years and have two daughters, Emilee, and Katy. He can be contacted via the church’s website MCfamilyforChrist.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read more from Pastor Crowder here.