“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 the earth. 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 11:13,16


When I first arrived in America from Australia, the thought of being a stranger in a foreign land for the first time made sense. My surroundings were unfamiliar. I got lost all the time—Google Maps became my best mate. I would always look the wrong way to cross the street and get honked at; when I asked for a piece of pizza or if I could have chips with my burger, people just laughed. Friends thought I was crazy for moving overseas with all its ‘what-ifs’ and uncertainties, and no guarantees of the outcome.

But faith is a lot of little steps along the journey. It’s making small decisions to trust God, regardless of the circumstances. Not knowing the future and being able to trust God in spite of this is the most liberating and joyful experience. In the midst of uncertainty is the peace of knowing that God is more invested in our futures and His Kingdom than we can ever understand or imagine. He is the perfect father and leader, if we are willing to let go and trust. Our faith has to go to the place of seeing Him as He truly is, and relentlessly pursuing His love and divine plan.

It’s amazing to think that in Hebrews 11, our Biblical examples of faith (Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah) are said to have died in faith, having lived totally committed to God without ever seeing the completed promises they believed in and were waiting for. It is so encouraging to know that, in spite of not knowing the outcome of their faith, yet wanting more than anything to see the promises come to pass, they passionately and courageously pursued God to uncomfortable places of which they were unsure. Regardless of uncertainty in their surroundings, not knowing what would happen but determined to trust God, they knew that every day would be a challenge yet their eyes were fixed on a place that we can’t explain; as Paul wrote, their desires were heavenly desires. That’s the place we need to be—to see and know that the obstacles set before us are not permanent but that we are continually moving towards a better place.

One day, we will see the author and creator of our faith, and everything will be worth it. At which time, we will inhabit the place which God prepared for us, and all that we saw by faith will come to pass. Being with God in the place of His preparing will far outweigh any earthly frustrations of not seeing promises come to pass in this lifetime. May we be so bold as to have faith that always takes a step in front, one step at a time, knowing He will be there with us. In this city, and in our amazing church family who call C3 Brooklyn home, may we all encourage each other in our faith and believe for what God has planned. This Christmas, may our faith be refreshed with the reality of God’s faithfulness, and may 2016 be a year marked with bold steps of faith.

Mike Lark