“Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–of whom the world was not worthy.” (Hebrews 11:35-38a NKJV)
You just gotta have faith, right? God wants to bless you real good, but, friend, you need to have strong faith for Him to do that. If you have enough faith, you can ask God for anything and He’ll give it to you. Do those comments sound familiar? There’s a branch of Christianity that teaches that if you have enough faith, you won’t get sick and you will prosper financially in everything you do. I’m guessing they don’t read the last art of Hebrews 11 very much. In those verses we see the woes and afflictions suffered by giants in the faith who followed God through torture and painful death because they understood what a relationship with God was. These are men and women of faith of whom the world was not worthy – yet they were scourged, mocked, tortured, and killed because of their faith. In some parts of the world, coming to faith in Christ is the equivalent of accepting a death sentence and yet, people commit their hearts and lives to God with great joy. There are, of course, amazing blessings from God when you live in faith, but we should never presume that a life of faith means that we’ll never experience difficulties in life. On the contrary, we can expect our faith to lead us into more difficulties in life because we set our hearts and minds on Jesus and not on the ways of the world. God doesn’t call us to go along to get along; He calls us to be examples of His love and purity in a hostile world.
Have you been troubled by the fact that you’ve had troubles at work because someone made you think that walking in faith meant that God would protect you from all your troubles? Don’t worry. The troubles don’t come because of a lack of faith. Faith doesn’t mean that we’ll never have troubles, faith means that God will walk with us through all of our troubles. When the troubles come, we just walk a little closer to God ad know that He’s taking care of things.
Lord, meet me in my troubles and encourage me. Let me recognize Your presence and power in any situation I’m in and let me be a calming influence for others going through a difficult time.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.