Reflection: The exact definition of “faith” is a thorny issue. But this passage suggests that, at the least, faith involves belief in two things. The first is straightforward enough: belief in God’s existence. No one has any excuse for complete ignorance of God in view of the wonders of Nature and the pull of conscience (Rom. 1:20, 2:15); and conscious refusal to believe is foolish (cf. Ps. 14:1). The second necessary belief is that God “rewards those who earnestly seek him”. What does that mean? Logically the God in whom one must believe is both a personal and an
omnipotent God, because only such a God would know or care about the deepest motivations (the “earnestness”) of each individual seeker. The word “rewards” is vital too. In context it confirms that God is a God of judgment, and that we should worship him as such, in the unashamed hope of favourable judgment on his part. It may be noted that this dual conception of belief is capable of applying to people who have never heard the name of Jesus provided they are, in effect, seeking him (cf. Rom. 10:14 – “How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?”)
Questions: Do you hope for reward from God? On what basis do you believe that you may receive any such reward?
Prayer: Father, I believe in you and I believe in Jesus, the one you sent. I believe that Jesus will reward me at the Final Judgment if I persist in my faith. Please send the Holy Spirit to help me to do so. Amen