Hebrews 11 (2)
It is important to remember that the saints of old, whom we revere and seek to emulate, were people of faith. They underwent hardships by faith, that is, by keeping focused on things hoped-for but unseen. They did not allow temporal threats or difficulties to deter them from obeying God’s will. They believed God and trusted that lasting rest would only be found in Him, and by obeying His Word. Their faith was pleasing to God, and He credited their faith as righteousness, and rewarded their faith by giving them Himself and His rest.
Read Genesis 15.1-6.
Read Hebrews 11.4-12.
Think it through.
1. Summarize the act of faith – the evidenceof faith – highlighted for each of the following:
What “unseen things” were they focusing on as they believed God? Which of these were eternal? Which were temporal?
2. We cannot please God apart from faith (v. 6). Why not? What does our living by faith communicate to God? Did faith cost any of these great saints in any way? Why were they willing to endure that cost? What would have been the lesson of these saints to the first readers of the book of Hebrews? What is the lesson to you?
“And so that the favors of heavenly condescension might not be lacking to any period of this transitory world, those who lived from the inception of the world up to the time of the giving of circumcision, and those from other countries who lived after the giving of circumcision, also pleased God. [They did so] either by the offering of sacrificial offerings or alternatively by the virtue of faith alone, since they committed their souls and those of their own to the Creator, and so [they] took care to free themselves from the bonds of the original guilt. For ‘without faith it is impossible to please God.’” The Venerable Bede (672-735 AD)
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5.6, 7
I believe, Lord, that You have saved me by Your life, death, and resurrection. Help me to believe daily in You as I…
Pray Psalm 91.1-8.
What is God calling you to today as you follow Jesus? What snares, trials, or terrors threaten you? Commit them to the Lord and take shelter in His refuge – now and throughout the day.
Psalm 91.1-6 (Lauda Anima: Praise My Soul the King of Heaven)
All who dwell within God’s shelter in His shadow will reside.
He our Tow’r, our Fortress ever, in Him we our trust confide.
From the trapper’s snares He saves us; safe from sickness we abide.
He will shade us with His pinions, ‘neath His wings we safety find.
From night’s terror, from day’s arrow, from the fears that stalk our mind.
When destruction falls at noon time, safe in Him shall we abide.
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.