And without faith it is impossible to please God… Hebrews 11:6a
My Brothers and Sisters who walk by faith in the Lord Jesus,
Favorites. Something you give time and special attention. It may be a favorite old shirt, ragged and well worn; reserved for wearing at home. Or a favorite dessert you would choose above any other. One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Hebrews 11and is often referred to as the ‘faith chapter’.
I see it as God’s “well done good and faithful servant” chapter. We read that men of old, from Abel to Samuel and many unnamed hero’s, gained God’s approval by faith. We most often dwell on the ones we are familiar with, such as Abraham and Moses, David and Gideon to name a few.
It tells us in verse 27 ‘Moses endured’. Do you ever get weary of ‘enduring’? I do. I wish I were a ‘Moses’! But I am just ordinary me. I am challenged that because endurance is by faith, even I can endure. My name will not be listed in Chapter 11, but I can please Him, who is Sovereign over my life, by choosing faith daily. We are what we are, when no one is looking!
One of the most interesting things in Hebrews 11 is the change that comes as verse 33 is interrupted with a powerful list of troubles and actions that are so far from my daily reality. When is the last time you quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, and received back your dead or conquered kingdoms? They are not checked off on my ’to do’ list; in fact, they are not on my list.
A poignant change moves us from ‘delivered’ and ‘miraculously victorious’, to the undelivered: those who die and suffer when tortured, mocked, scourged, chained and imprisoned, stoned, and sawn in two. None of these are on my list of troubles either. I have lost no one who has been tortured to death. But notice right there in the middle of the list is a word we can all relate to: “tempted”. The list goes on and I am reminded with every reading, these are my brothers and sisters in the faith. Many of my brothers and sisters whom I have never met in this world, have suffered terribly and ‘endured’ by faith.
We have trouble enduring without complaint, our rather small troubles. Yet, we can embrace verse 39 knowing it includes us!! For we too can please our Lord by enduring whatever we are facing with faith. They endured and trusted God even when they did not receive what was promised, because God had a better plan, better timing. We will make them complete!? All that was promised and more will be theirs. I do not understand this, but it is none the less true.
And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised… Hebrews 11:39-40
They gained approval by faith. So can we!
Endurance: to persevere, remain under, endure as to things or circumstance especially enduring in reference to suffering in faith and duty.
The faith chapter doesn’t really stop at verse 40, but moves right into the first three verses of Chapter 12. This is so cool. I am dancing… We are to run ‘our’ race ( the race marked out for us) ; and we are to run it with endurance not looking around at others and their races, but we are to have our eyes fixed on Jesus, who Himself set the standard by enduring the Cross. He endured the hostility of sinners against Himself, so that we will not grow weary and lose heart. Amazing Grace….
All His suffering was for more than our salvation!! It was to enable us to endure and not lose heart and not grow weary. Doesn’t it make you want to kneel down and weep with joy?
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32
We have seen God purifying His church in the past few years. Suffering that has brought many to their knees. He is preparing us for what He knows is coming. Revival or Destruction? Much of the church is locked in an apathetic, materialistic, stupor. May God have mercy on us and quicken us to truly know what it is to walk by faith. We are to “Consider Him….” So we will not grow weary and lose heart.” This is my prayer for each one of you this week.
LORD, establish Your word to us as that which produces reverence for You. And for this we thank You. Quicken every cell of our being and dig deep into our hearts to break up the fallow ground and revive us for Your glory. Thank You for your death on the Cross that provides for our daily living; for You knew how easily we would be discouraged and grow weary. What an amazing and great God You are Jesus. I bow and give you thanks in the name of Your Son, Jesus.
Consider Him and endure,