The Heavenly Hope

A large family sat around the breakfast table one morning. As the custom, the father returned thanks, blessing God for the food. Immediately after, however, as was his bad habit, he began to grumble about hard times, the poor quality of the food he was forced to eat, the way it w … More

Attitude

In this chapter the writer gathers together the names of those who have faithfully passed the legacy of faith on to the next generation. He reflects on the lives of heroes of the faith like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel. Many of these people died without receiving all that God had promised, but they never lost their vision of heaven.

It is easy for us to become discouraged when our wants, expectations and demands are not met. In the middle of this long list of the faithful, there is the momentary pause in the person by person account in order to point out certain Spiritual qualities manifested in the lives of these Old Testament personalities:

  1. Their confidence (v. 13). “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them a far off were persuaded (assured) of them...”
  2. Their witness (v. 13). “...embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
  3. Their goal (v. 14). “For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country."
  4. Their discernment (v. 15). “And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.”
  5. Their security (v. 16). “God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.

Application

I must never feel frustrated or feel defeated because my needs, wants, expectations and demands are not met. Instead I need to keep my focus on heaven, just as the heroes of faith did.

Hebrews 11:13-19 (English Standard Version)

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

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