In Hebrews 11:33-34 the Holy Spirit shows us how faith can perform the most remarkable deeds. In verse 35 we see that sometimes people decide it is time for a better resurrection. In our text (vs.36-38) we read about men and women of faith who suffer the most astonishing hardships: ridicule, beatings, chains, prison, stoning, being sawn in two, and death. They were destitute, afflicted, and horribly mistreated. These were people with faith in God who anticipated the Messiah, just as we appreciate the Messiah.
- God makes no guarantees that your life will be an easy one.
Some of you are thinking to yourself, "I know this, but I can't handle any more." Yes, you and I can. "I know both how to be poor, and I know how to live in prosperity: in any and every circustance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:12-13). The "all things" is strength in suffering. Athletes, politicians, artists and performers all misuse this verse in reference to success. You can have strength here and now, in the middle of your darkest, longest and most difficult night.
- The measure of your approval with God is your faith in Him.
This is the one principle of Christianity, if understood properly, would revolutionize your entire life. "And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised" (v.39).
- Christ's obedience to the law is my obedience (Romans 5:12, 18-21).
- Christ's reward for His obedience to God is my reward (Romans 8:17).
- Christ's death as a penal sacrifice for sin is my death to sin (Romans 6:6-7, 9-11; 7:4).
- Christ's resurrection to life guarantees my reesurrection to life (John 5:25; 11:25-26; Ephesians 2:14).
- Christ's offering of Himself for me is proof enough of God's love for me (Romans 8:32).
- This world is not worthy of you because of your faith in God
Do you struggle with self-esteem? Are you questioning where your place in this world really is? I've got news for you; as a believer in God, you will never find your niche in this world. Why? Because this world is not worthy of you. God is preparing something infinitely better for you: a city with foundations, a room with a view, a place of rest and peace, your eternal home.
- The reason you are left here in this world is for God's eternal purposes.
God regards His people as "the excellent" of the earth in whom is His great "delight" (Psalm 16:3). The people of this world are altogether ignorant of it, but the fact is, all the blessings and benefits of Providence they enjoy are due to the fact we dwell among them. We really are the salt of the earth. Our presence stays the hand of Divine judgment (Genesis 19:22) and brings down blessing (Genesis 30:27). Our prayers secure Divine healing (Genesis 20:17). Our presence brings both sunshine and rain to earth.
- The family of God encompasses both Old and New Covenant people.
"...apart from us, they (the saints of old) would not be made complete" (Hebrews 11:40). For as long as you have lived you have heard of the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You have marveled at the life of David, and been moved with the narrative of Moses' life. Yet have you considered that the love God has for His family includes you? There is no hierarchical line of favorites in God's family. God is as interested in the homemaker as He is the hero. There are no outcasts in God's family.