Recognizing God’s rewards

One of the greatest blessings of my life has been to carry the title of “preacher’s wife.” That role has provided me the opportunity to be part of some of the most significant moments in people’s lives. 

I have witnessed the power of faith sustain people in times of tragedy. I have seen people’s faith grow over the years, and I’ve walked with people whose faith had faltered. It has been a privilege to share these moments and I’ve learned a lot in the process.  

Growing older has a few downsides, but I am so grateful to all of the people who have been amazing examples to me of the power of faith. Their faith made me want to be faithful. Their strength, their redemption, their struggles, and their joys have been examples for my life. 

After many years, I have come to understand what the author of Hebrews was talking about when he wrote, “[God] rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Do you recognize God’s rewards in your life? 

The Hall of Faith

Hebrews 11 has often been called God’s “Hall of Faith.” The author of Hebrews is unknown, but the top four options are Barnabas, Apollos, Luke, or Silas. 

My husband, Jim, votes for Apollos, but I like to think it was Barnabas. I’ve often said that as soon as I get to heaven, Barnabas is one of the first people I would like to meet! Paul’s entire ministry was quite likely made possible by the fact that Barnabas joined him, endorsing his faith as genuine. The author of Hebrews never speaks of himself by name, indicating that the author was well known and well thought of.  

We do know that the author of Hebrews, whoever he was, was well acquainted with the Jewish faith. Chapter 11, the “Jewish Hall of Faith,” mentions the faith of many Old Testament people from Cain and Abel forward. 

Early on, a statement is made about the faith of Enoch and the fact he was taken to heaven before his death. That statement is the only thing we know about Enoch. The author of Hebrews wants the reader to understand that Enoch’s faith was rewarded by God and that’s why he was taken to heaven. The author said, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). 

The Hall of Faith states an important truth that all Christians can claim for their lives: God rewards faith. 

What is the faith that God rewards?

All of us want to believe that God will reward our lives. All of us should believe that God does reward our lives. But, what does Scripture make clear about the faith God rewards? 

First, God rewards the faith of people who will draw near to him, knowing he exists. 

At some point in our faith journey, we must move past hoping God is real. We must enter into a faith relationship with God that knows him as a personal reality. How do we come to know God is real? We need only “draw near” and experience his Presence and his power in our lives. When we walk with God’s Spirit, we are fully aware of his reality. 

Second, we must recognize his rewards in our lives. 

God blesses his children often because his blessings are a product of his perfect love. God’s children don’t always recognize his blessings, however. God’s blessings are what he designs for our lives, and that might now be the design we want for ourselves. God’s children normally suffer the same afflictions as non-Christians in this world. The difference is the way God can redeem affliction in the lives of the faithful. His reward is for those who allow and embrace his redemption, through faith. 

That is why Paul wrote this great truth in Romans 8:28: We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Paul and the author of Hebrews were teaching the same lesson: God rewards the faith of those who will draw near to him, believing he exists. 

That is the promise of Scripture. 

God’s great rewards

One day we will receive a mansion in glory and live with the blessings of heaven. But it would be a mistake to consider heaven our only reward from God and therefore miss the rewards that he provides each day. God rewards our faith

The greatest reward for our earthly lives is our faith. We walk through this life knowing there is a God. We can expect our faith to be rewarded. What do his rewards look like? 

  • We have hope, even when we despair.
  • We have his love, even when we are disappointed by others.
  • We have his strength, even when we are weakened.
  • We have his joy, even when we are sad.
  • We have his direction, his mercy, his forgiveness, and his voice of comfort.

How did God reward your faith this week? 

Look for God’s rewards

My favorite beatitude is “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). A preacher will often say, “Only the pure in heart can see God.”  

Faithful people know God exists and is present in their lives. They draw near to him in pure-hearted faith and they can “see God.” The ability to see God at work in our lives and in the lives of others is a great reward. I have been blessed by glimpsing the reality of God in the faithful lives of so many people. My daily reward is seeing God in the lives of his faithful servants. 

I know God exists. I see him, and I talk to him. I see God in circumstances that just fall into place. I see God in the strength of people who would have every reason to feel weak instead. I see God in the beauty of nature and in the power of nature. God creates and God is redeeming his creation. 

When is the last time you were tangibly aware of the reality of God at work in your life? 

If it has been too long, then choose to believe with faith and draw near to his Presence.  

Scripture promises to “reward” you when you do.