I finished the book of Hebrews this morning, starting with Chapter 11.
It starts with the statement that faith is the substance; the concrete stuff, that makes up the things we hope for.
From these opening words, the chapter rolls out a litany of what faith is and one example of another of what faith does.
By faith…. by faith…and name by name is called off as an example of the mighty power of faith that worked. Testimonials of great successes that faith brought about.
I can almost hear the music swelling, like in a movie when the hero comes through and your heart ramps up with joy and hope that all has been made right….Enoch, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jericho, Rahab, Gideon…on and on and the stories of these great God-successes pop up in my mind and my own faith soars.
And then….I run into…the Others….
Yes, just as the weak are made strong, and the lowly are made valiant and women are getting their dead children handed back to them – living and breathing…I jump to…
Others who were tortured rather than deny Christ….others who were mocked and scourged, stoned, sawed in two…wandered about destitute, afflicted and tormented….
All of a sudden, the music kind of pauses. And can we be honest?
Is this really what we signed up for? Because all of that stuff that the Others experienced doesn’t really seem like the abundant life, does it?
But God continues about the Others…He calls them people that the world was not worthy of.
How about that? These Others who were chased down, ridiculed, imprisoned and even killed … were way better than the world deserved.
He goes on to say, in closing Chapter 11, that all of these…the ones with the great stories, the David’s and Daniel’s AND the nameless ones who the world disregarded and discarded….all of these obtained a good testimony THROUGH faith…whether they saw and experienced the manifestation of the hope, or they died still not seeing it….
and we are there, too, you and I…right there in the last sentence of Hebrews 11….
In verse 40: God having provided something better for US, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
Whatever your testimony looks like to the eyes of the world, God honors your faith <3
Hang in there today, dear one, the world is not worthy of you <3