By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yes, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, 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:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. Hebrews 11:30-40 (AKJV)
Some years ago, I heard a speaker say, as he walked onto a stage, “How many people in this auditorium believe that you learn by your experience?”
Everyone put up their hand.
The speaker said “O my God, I just got here in time before it’s too late.”
We are to learn by everyone else’s God experience, and use that experience to build upon; to take what we go through to the next level, while being confident in our God.
It’s time for us to continue to make headways. God is true to what He promises and promised to each one of us personally. We are all in a process of becoming part of the cloud of witnesses to testify to the fact that what God has shown Himself faithful in, He will continue to do so – after all, He is the same yesterday, today and forever – a guarantee that He will never change.
Our lives here need to be an inspiration to future generations if He tarries in His return.
Just because we face persecution and an apparent unsuccessful outcome (from a world point of view), does not mean we are outside of God’s will, into which we have been directed. We are persecuted and endure hardships because we do not compromise in what we stand for and walk in.
We will see days of miraculous wonders, achievements, and outcomes; however times when great endurance is required will also need to be faced. We cannot ignore verses 35 to 38 of Hebrews 11, though I would like to skip over these if I could.
In the culture that we live in the requirements of endurance will become more prominent as things around us are rapidly changing and deteriorating. Today may be a timely call to stand strong in the Lord and the power of His might, especially since it appears that the god of this world is gaining ground in many lands under the guise of political religions, economic mismanagement and deceptions on a global scale. Also, once considered wrong lifestyles are rampantly and rapidly being accepted as normal by today’s society; and the Christian faith is being oppressed in greater and greater measure, both overtly and covertly.
Incidentally, does anyone feel like Lot did who was surrounded by all kinds of uncomfortable situations as well?
And God rescued righteous Lot, greatly worn out and distressed by the wanton ways of the ungodly and lawless. For that just man, living there among them, tortured his righteous soul every day with what he saw and heard of their unlawful and wicked deeds. 2 Peter 2:7-8 (Amplified Bible)
The words of Jesus and Paul are ringing out true as well in an increasing fashion as time moves on.
Indeed all who are determined to live a devoted and godly lifestyle in Christ Jesus will meet with persecution, according to Mark 10:30 and 2 Timothy 3:11-12
Again, we have forerunners who have shown that leaning and relying on God with their whole being, no matter what the circumstance, has won them divine approval (Hebrews 11:39). Then, to top it all off, God had us in mind, that we would take strong courage from these forerunners. We are to take the faith given to us to achieve greater things (Hebrews 11:40) and leave example and legacy for the next generation.