Hold on to the promise
All these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. Hebrews 11:39-40
As we come to the end of Hebrews 11, we read the point of the entire chapter. Each one of the people mentioned in this chapter and even many that were not mention, walked by faith that someday a Savior would come and make things new. Yesterday I wrote about faith requiring action and obedience. In today’s reading, we see those who used their faith to endure hardship, did it to receive the promise of the Savior. The passage never says that these courageous saints prayed for the trouble and persecutions to go away. It seems that they prayed for the faith to endure because of a promise that was set before them of their Messiah. Everything the old testament saints and prophet went through was because God promised to send a Redeemer. None of those faithful people saw Him, but they held on to the promise by faith in God’s word.
Today, we are on the other side of that promise, but have we also obtained that “good testimony”? Are we as Christians ready to endure suffering as the former saints did? Praise God we have lived in a time and country that has embraced the promise of God for the most part up until now. However, it seems times are shifting and around the world many are living by faith to endure for the sake of their love for our Savior Jesus. Now we have received the promise of salvation and cling to the promise that He is coming back for us.
How do we practically prepare for the days ahead. With the times being so uncertain, how do we as God’s people walk by faith in these last and troubling days? We need the Holy Spirit’s help. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the new testament church and when they were filled with the Holy Spirit was when they received the empowerment to not only endure, but to boldly proclaim the good news of salvation and do His good works. I believe this is the promise that will take us through to the end. No more can we allow ourselves to be distracted with the comforts that the world offers. We must stand up and give the good news to the lost and dying people around us. Time is running out, and our hope and faith is in our salvation by Christ Jesus. The message of His salvation and return must spread like wild fire for all to hear. Only when the message of the gospel reaches the whole earth will He come back for us (Matt. 24:14).
Today I want to encourage you to stand firm in your faith in His salvation and the message of the good news. Make that message your number one priority each day. By seeking first the kingdom of God and righteousness, you are seeking how to grow His kingdom and that is by bringing people back to their loving Father’s arms. God wants to rescue all those who are lost and perishing, and He is depending on us to do our part to make that message loud enough to be heard over the cries for help. So prepare your heart and prepare your steps to follow in faith as He leads you to the lost. Become so full of the gospel and be so determined to reach others that you do not even notice with the persecutions come.
Today’s scripture reading: Hebrews 11:30-40