READING: Ezekiel 3-4, Hebrews 11:20-40
“The world was not worthy of them.”
Consider the following two possibilities. In the first scenario, you have committed yourself to following God with all your being. He has blessed your efforts significantly – so much so that your name could be attached to at least one of the following descriptions: “who by faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the raging of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, gained strength after being weak, became mighty in battle, and put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead—they were raised to life again” (Heb. 11:33-35). This is the stuff of which church history books might be written. God did such things through His people that we could only say, “God did this.”
In the second scenario, you too committed your entire life to God. In this case, however, the results were quite different. Just read the words of Hebrews 11, and compare them to the above paragraph: “Some men were tortured, not accepting release, so that they might gain a better resurrection, and others experienced mockings and scourgings, as well as bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they died by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, and mistreated” (Heb. 11:35-37). Church history books record these kinds of stories, also, but they’re the stories of martyrs for the gospel.
Both of these descriptions, though, are included in the chapter on faith. The world may say that faith results in only the great things that happened in the first scenario, but the Bible teaches us that we must trust God fully in the second scenarios, too. Some followers of God saw resurrection take place, but others died. Some escaped the sword, but some died by it. Some drove the armies out, but others were imprisoned and persecuted at their hand. You see, faith means trusting God on the mountain and trusting Him in the valley. We live by faith, and we die by faith. We trust Him to give us victory, either in this world or in the world to come.
- Strive to trust God today, regardless of what you face.
- Thank Him for the promise of ultimate victory.
PRAYER: “God, grant me faith today to trust You no matter what comes my way.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Ezekiel 5-7, Hebrews 12