Friday, October 28, 2011

31 Days of Joy: Faithful Examples


Hebrews11 gives many examples of Bible heroes who looked to their future joy: people like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses.  They suffered on earth and remained faithful to God.  They were not looking for earthly treasure; they were looking toward a future reward.  They were looking toward Heaven, toward a city made by God, toward future joy. 
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.  People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.  If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.  Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; 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. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death 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, and in caves and holes in the ground. 
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.  God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect (Hebrews 11:13-16, 32-40, NIV).
There is great joy awaiting believers in Heaven.  These heroes of the faith knew it, and they waited and suffered patiently, looking to the joy ahead.  Dear friend, if you know Jesus, then you have great joy awaiting you too. It is worth suffering for.  It is worth waiting patiently for.  Remain steadfast, seek God’s Kingdom, and look forward to your eternal dwelling.

2 comments:

The Lazy Mom said...

We have this very picture hanging in our living room! We found it on our honeymoon in Gatlinburg TN and loved it.  At the time we didn't have money to buy it (I mean, we were newlyweds!), but several years later we were back in Gatlinburg and we walked into that store and there it was again!  We snatched it right up!

Nice to "meet" you from Our Goodwin Journey's blog party!
The Lazy Mom wuz here.

http://www.imalazymom.com

Rachel Lundy said...

That's so neat that you have a copy of this picture!   It is a great reminder to me to keep an eternal perspective.

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