Read Hebrews 11
What faith is, what it does, and how it is developed (Heb. 11; Rom. 10:17). Like a faithful parent, the Lord disciplines His children (Heb. 12:5-13); so listen and obey when He speaks (12:14-29), because He is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (13:8) — never out of date.
Believers in Christ, knowing He will soon rule the world, see the hand of God in ordinary experiences such as where we shall live, our occupation, and who our friends are. To the unbeliever, these decisions seem to be entirely in the sphere of man's own judgment. Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God (Heb. 11:8-10).
Although during his life he never received the promise, Abraham's faith saw beyond the grave. His trust did not waver even though at his death he possessed only a grave site in Canaan. They who know Christ best and have trusted God most are always the first to say that life is a series of disappointments to human reasoning. But our disappointments are His appointments. And we know that all things (without exception) work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).
Abraham is spoken of as the Friend of God (James 2:23) and the father of many nations (Gen. 17:4-5). Note too that Abraham was a wanderer, a homeless man who lived in tents as a mere visitor in the land of promise — a sojourner. Yes, the thought of being homeless seems to be incompatible with happiness, but Abraham's life does illustrate that the great secret to contentment in life is faith in the faithfulness of God. It was also said: Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness (Rom. 4:3). The promises of God may seem at first to primarily assure an abundance of earthly possessions, which we may be tempted to make our primary desire. However, God seldom fulfills His promises according to our expectations.
As one thing after another disappoints us and we hopefully grow in faith and not in greed, we recognize how God is leading us to see beyond life's unsatisfying, deceptive rewards to eternal incorruptible treasures in the heavenly city as Abraham did. Abraham illustrates the inseparability of faith and obedience to Christ's instruction: Let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).
Thought for Today:
By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for His Name (Rom. 1:5).
For Heb. 11:18: See Gen. 21:12. Heb. 12:5-6: See Prov. 3:11-12. Heb. 12:12: See Is. 35:3. Heb. 12:26: See Hag. 2:6. Heb. 13:5: See Josh. 1:5; also Deut. 31:8. Heb. 13:6: See Ps. 118:6.
11:29 assaying, attempting; 13:9 divers, various.
Pray for Staff: Bill Beach • Government Official: Sen. Mark Warner (VA) • Country: Japan (126.7 million) off the eastern coast of Asia • Major language: Japanese • Religious freedom • 49% Buddhist; 45% Shintoist; 1% Christian; 5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Praise God for godly men of old who were faithful to record His Word of Truth (Hab. 2:1-2).
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Corinthians 13:2