Verse: Hebrews 11:32-40
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames,and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging,and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
This whole chapter is about faith. Just prior to these verses, many heroes of the Bible were listed such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Rahab. Though they are each vastly different, they can be characterized by their steps out in faith. They trusted God to deliver on His promises. These verses continue likewise. The author draws out attention to the fact that he could go on and on, listing out people of great faith and how they trusted the Lord. He highlights the ways the Lord showed up to keep His promises. Over and over again. Every time. He even goes on to say the world was not worthy of them. Because although they stepped out in faith, that doesn’t mean it always looks like a happy ending. These men and women gave their lives to proclaim the Gospel.
It makes me pause and wonder… would I be so brave? Would I go up against a lion? Would I step into the flames? Would I go into battle? Would I face humiliation? Torture? Death?
How about closer to home? Will I step up in faith and share the Gospel with my brother? Will I ask to pray for a coworker who has experienced loss? Will I share the blessings I receive clearly and give God the glory? Will I stand up for the weak, even if that makes me look different? Will I stand by my convictions, even if that means I lose some friends?
You see friend, our trials look different. But at the heart of it, they are the same. At the end of the day, do we trust our God to be who He says He is? Do we trust Him to do what He says He will do? If I believe these things to be true, I can look to the end of the chapter. The people mentioned never got to see the hope of Jesus. They were before He came and died for you and I. We can set our hope on the redeeming work of Jesus. With our eyes set on that hope, we are able to step out in faith, knowing that any temporary earthly suffering is short In light of eternity, that we are not in it alone, and one day we will be made complete in the presence of our Savior.
God, thank You that I am never alone. Life is hard, full of trial after trial. Jesus, thank You for understanding my suffering and walking with me in every step. Remind my heart of the heroes of the faith who came before me. Strengthen my heart by reminding me to set my eyes on You. Show me how to be a vessel for unapologetically proclaiming Your name. Help me to see the opportunities before me to bring Your hope to a chaotic world, amen.
Author: Becca Artymenko