Are you familiar with the entire chapter of Hebrews 11? As I studied verses 1-31, I easily recognized the names of the faith heroes from the Old Testament. Even so, I struggled to find why I was not familiar with the faith heroes of the remainder of the chapter [verses 32-40 ]. Nor could I recall hearing a sermon that included the heroes of the New Testament and their severe suffering for believing in and becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. Still, the Apostle Paul gives us accurate details of their spiritual journey along with their unwavering faith. They are the believers in the Early Church.
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. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. Hebrews 11:35-38.
Although many have endured hardships in their lives, nothing compares to the persecution of the early Christians [documented by the Apostle Paul]. In fact, how many of us can even imagine this level of suffering? Our spiritual eyes are always opened by the Word of God. Because God knows our hearts, He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. Another avoided message is the warning of “The Great Tribulation” in Matthew chapter 24. It is not with feelings of dread or fear that we should feel when we gain knowledge of our future. As faith heroes, we pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit who provides wisdom, discernment, and the reassurance that the Trinity Godhead will sustain us.
But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.” Exodus 14:13. God does not change! The God who rescued the faithful in the Old Testament is the same God who the New Testament faith heroes believed would resurrect and give them the reward of Eternal Life.
To the faithful in 2022, establish and maintain your faith and trust in God. We decide to prepare ourselves daily for this spiritual battle of life. But never alone! God takes our human effort and with His Divine Intervention, we are victorious overcomers! Yes, we are promised spiritual strength from the Holy Spirit to “run with endurance the race that is set before us,…” Hebrews 12:1. Keep going!
We have this hope that burns within our hearts, hope in the coming of the Lord!
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Revelation 22:12-13
Prayer: God, we pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit as we put on the armor to withstand our greatest enemy and prepare for your Second Coming. Help us to endure and persevere through our trials and sorrows. Thank you for never leaving or forsaking us. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen. © 2021 Sonya Johnson, Faithful Fishers, and Woman, You Are Loved by God Ministries