The book of Hebrews contains one of the most remarkable lists in all of antiquity. It is remarkable because if who it contains; a prostitute, a philandering husband, a leader who had to run for his life to avoid a murder rap, a judge who was brought down by a conniving woman and on and on it goes.
Despite the obvious character deficiencies of many of them, each individual was on this list for the same reason: “These were all commended for their faith (Heb. 11:39).”
The writer of Hebrews was encouraging Jewish believers who were in such challenging circumstances that they may have been tempted to lose their faith. He remembered; “Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property (Heb. 10:33-34).”
While acknowledging their current situation, the author challenged the people not to become so bogged down with their difficulties that they failed to see the big picture of God’s activity. As a reminder, he made the famous list in Hebrews 11 of people who had kept their faith over the long-haul of their lives, even when it seemed impossible.
Living in faith isn’t a big mystery, it simply means trusting that God is good and He will keep His Word (even if it takes an exorbitant amount to waiting- just ask Abraham and Sarah.)
There will be times when we have to remind ourselves to keep our faith over the long-haul too. Life can be tough. Sometimes we won’t be able to see God working. Sometimes we will need a clear reminder that God is in control. That’s when we do just what the author of Hebrews 11 did; we rehearse for ourselves all of the ways that God has been faithful to us in the past. It will give us the strength to keep going.
And who knows? We may make someone else’s list of faithful Believers! Our faithfulness may be just what another person needs to keep their own faith strong.
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Reading Plan- Week Forty-Three
Day One- Hebrews 7
Day Two- Hebrews 8
Day Three- Hebrews 9
Day Four- Hebrews 10
Day Five- Hebrews 11