Well, I caught up to the scriptures God had placed me in. No wonder God waits for us to read His Word.
Sounds weird but the phrase “by faith” which I mentioned previously (as in “we will do things, by faith, if the Lord allows”) has now shown up now in Hebrews 11-12 LIKE CRAZY… Plus there is so much history referred to that I had to go back to read in Genesis about these people, and wow they lived lives 600 700 800 900 years – well, if they didn’t live “by faith” then they would not have survived that long. God limited our lifespans to 120 years (wow) but yet we must still live “by faith” – how could we NOT? – or we won’t know where we are going or supposed to go. The “ancients” “BY FAITH” meant they were looking ahead to heavenly destinations, not the places they came from. Our “by Faith“, explained in Hebrews 11 verse 1, is: “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” That is the same as my favorite movie’s most famous line: “Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.” Well, my common sense tells me that by faith I have to believe in Our Lord because Our Lord, Our amazing Lord, is not something or someone common. By faith we believe because it is FAITH that is gifted to us to live BY. Live in, not Live next to, but Live by. God WILL commend us if we live BY FAITH.
I don’t understand the logistics and the workings of “the ancients”, of the creation of the world, the heavens and the earth, the stars and the sand particles, but BY FAITH I believe that I can NOT and will NOT force my God into my limited brain power. BY FAITH, I know that OUR FAITH has to go wider and deeper and longer than our brain power. Even Abraham, especially Abraham, believed God could raise people from the dead, who was he to doubt the Lord.
BY FAITH I know that this journey for the Lord creating the World for His pleasure only to have people scattered could not and must not have been easy. Human vulnerability to evil influences, including jealousy and rage, are tops on my list of pain for the Peacemaker. His Heart was “deeply troubled” (Genesis 6). My God I can NOT even imagine the fraction of the magnitude of Your pain. Ugh the distancing of Adam and Eve, Oh the death of Abel at Cain’s hands, where a shepherd Abel was taken from life by Cain, a worker of the earth (Genesis 4:1-12). And isn’t this is SO foretelling of Jesus the Shepherd being crucified by human hands influenced by their worldly wants.
AND IT IS JESUS – He was the One that we know and yet they “the ancients” had to WAIT for – they lived “by faith” because they never got to THE PROMISE in their lifetimes… God found favor with Noah and many because of their living “by faith“. So we now know and are told that it is by Jesus, Who is God’s Promise, that “the ancients” and we now will be reunified into His perfect future. By the death and resurrection of Jesus, “God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
It is these “ancients” that Paul demonstrates are a “great cloud of witnesses” surrounding us so that we too can “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
BY FAITH, We consider Jesus so that we do not grow weary and lose heat. We witness God’s awesomeness and love His lovingness. BY FAITH, we will wait upon the Lord for His calling. BY FAITH, we will know in advance where we are going: HOME. That is the Promised Land PROMISE.
Amen, Keep Walking (and please read the “by faith” examples below)
Amen Keep Running with Perseverance BY FAITH.
Paul to the Hebrews chapters 11, 12 v1-3
Faith in Action
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what “the ancients” were commended for.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.
By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider JESUS who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.