If you’re familiar with the bible you know the “faith” chapter is Hebrews 11. There are all these awesome examples of great faith. But you may not have noticed, I sure didn’t, there’s a little more to it then a list of names and their faithful acts.
Recently I have noticed, and had it pointed out to me, there are some super interesting verses I didn’t really read into previously. They’ve definitely got some wisdom to them.
First off, lets talk about that word, “faith.” It’s so much more than belief. It is the FULL trust or the FULL reliance on someone or something. It’s what you cling to. It’s not just – “Oh, this is what I believe.” So when we’re talking about faith in this chapter, know that it’s that full on, reach for the stars, world series kind of stuff. (if you know what that’s from, we can be best friends)
In Hebrews 11:13 it says
“these all died in faith, although they had not received the things that were promised. But they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed they were foreigners and temporary residents on this earth.”
I think these were old testament people who hadn’t received Jesus’ coming, but they had faith anyway that it would happen. They knew that it was coming. Saw it “in the distance.” How cool is that. These “heroes of faith” as some would say, had the trust to know that they were not of this world, and their faith made them focus on heaven, and forget their present troubles.
I love this one thing my friend says, “When we decide to believe and follow Jesus, we are baptized into the heavenly, and we can operate from that heaven focused mindset from now on.” We can leave that worldly stuff behind.
In verses 35-40, the end of the chapter, it talks about people who were being tortured for their faith, but wouldn’t “accept” a release, because they were invested in a “better resurrection.”
What would happen if we put the things of this Earth behind us, let our troubles fall by the wayside, or handed them over to God for a “better resurrection?” Pretty much in the end, we’re going to be resurrected into life or into death. These people were straight up getting tortured because of what they believed, and had the mindset to say “no, I’ll keep getting tortured for my faith because my reward is coming.” They knew eternal life was just on the other side. In verse 38 it literally says, “the world was not worthy of them.”
God could have stopped that if he wanted to. The author tells us in vs. 39 that they were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised….. you may be thinking. WHY?.. but it answers the question in the same verse. “BECAUSE GOD HAD PROVIDED SOMETHING BETTER FOR US.”
On a different note, reading this chapter again recently kind of rocked my world, in a good way. It really made me think about some things in my life.
There are so many thoughts and plans I have for my life. And you know what? Things aren’t going to happen just as I plan on this Earth. No matter how faithful I am, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to get what I want all the time. No way, no chance. But it’s okay. Why? Because God has something better planned. I have full faith in this.
When seemingly bad things happen, I can make the choice to revert to that heavenly mindset. I can fully rely and trust the things happening here on the Earth, even the good stuff, are nothing compared to what God has planned for me next.
What if we live like we know a new and better thing is coming? What if we put our money where our mouth is and decide to live as if we actually trust God? It is probably better to put our faith in the maker of the universe rather than a member of it, like you or me. What if we gently lay our plans down at his feet and accept what he has instead?
Have you ever seen that picture of a little girl with the bear and Jesus has a bigger bear behind his back? I love that image. Except it’s even better in real life. Sure sometimes, we can’t see what’s next, but ultimately eternal life is out in front. Nothing is hiding behind his back. He’s offering it up in return for our all out trust in him. I believe what he’s got in his hands is better than anything we could dream up. Let’s have the faith to trust and live like it.