There Were Others

By , July 15, 2018

“…who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice,
and gained what was promised; ”
Hebrews 11:33 (NIV)

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“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.” Hebrews 11:33-38 (NIV)

There are thrilling stories in the Bible of God’s people doing remarkable things as they conquered enemies, lived in the furnace of flames, parted the Red Sea to escape the Egyptian army, shut lions’ mouths and other exciting things.

Certain believers think that all of God’s people are called on to have similar success stories fighting Satan and his evil followers. They speak of having victorious lives but when circumstances go against them their faith collapses and they are bewildered, defeated and broken. They have read the miraculous successes of God’s people in other times and wrongly assume that such a story should be their story.

The teaching of the Bible demonstrates that there are many martyrs through the ages and we cannot expect we are going to be among those who do the dramatic and exciting things where life is all joy and delights.

If you find yourself among the ones who suffer and live lives of poverty and abuse you are in good company. You share a history that is well known in Scripture.

If people slander you, speak lies about you and generally create chaos for you—tell the Saviour about it. He understands because He endured the same things. He will minister mercy and grace to you so that you will be able to endure to the end.

It would be wonderful if He removed your troubles but He has not promised that to any of His people.

Call to mind what the apostle Paul said concerning his many and very serious afflictions,  (2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV),

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

In the light of our eternal reward our temporary afflictions pale in comparison. Will you seek to focus on the eternal and take your eyes off the present? You will be miserable if you don’t. You will be blessed if you do.

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