These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city. – Hebrews 11:13-14
So, here’s the down side of faith: you may not get to see what you have faith for be realized here on earth. Faith is about heaven on earth so the focus is eternal while the current circumstances are temporal. Healing. Finances. Ideas. Reconciliation. Living by faith means longing for heaven even though we are physically here on earth. Living by faith is challenging and honestly, can just be downright painful.
One of the many things I love about God is free will. In verse 15, God shows us clearly that we have the freedom and opportunity to return to where we came. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to go back! I don’t want to be in darkness anymore, I love the light too much. So, I stay focused on heaven and the power God has to answer my requests. I know that I may not get to see all that my faith is desiring and, I’m ok with that because I long for heaven.
When we live by faith, focused on the eternal, God leads us deeper into relationship with Him. His promise of an eternity with Him, in His presence forever, is what drives a life of faith. Without faith, we will never see God move because it’s simply not possible. It is small faith that opens the door to God’s power which then allows us to increase our faith going forward. Think of faith in terms of running. You don’t get up one day and run a marathon. You first make the decision you want to run a marathon and then you make a plan that involves training. You start with short distances and work your way up. Faith is the same. Don’t get discouraged when faith is hard, just stay committed to the processes and focused in the end result.
God will never fail you, never. Be honest in your circumstance and how much faith you can give to Him, He will meet you where you are and bless what you give. Living by faith isn’t about the outcome, it’s about the transformation. You will be changed by your faith in God whether or not you receive what you are hoping for.