The walk of faith is filled with adventure, with excitement, with miracles and victories! But what happens when things don’t turn out like we desire or expect them to? What happens when we face setbacks and disappointments? What happens when someone even dies without the fulfillment of what they believe God promised?
There are those who claim with great fanfare and apparent confidence that with enough faith a person should never suffer a financial setback, always enjoy prosperity, never be sick and if sick always be healed, never suffer defeat and always experience victory, never be persecuted and always prevail! … Sorry! Life doesn’t work that way and according to the last part of Hebrews 11 – the great faith chapter – neither does faith. If fact, the chapter seems to declare that faith is what sustains believers through difficulties, disappointments, and disaster! Here’s what it says… right out of the Bible, God’s word!
“Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated — of whom the world was not worthy — wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. AND ALL THESE, THOUGH COMMENDED THROUGH THEIR FAITH, DID NOT RECEIVE WHAT WAS PROMISED, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:35–40 ESV)
So here is my encouragement to you… If your faith is being sorely tested right now… Don’t give up! Don’t abandon your faith! Your faith is what will sustain you in and through the testing time! Remember what the passage that precedes Hebrews 11 said?
“Recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. THEREFORE DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR CONFIDENCE, WHICH HAS A GREAT REWARD! FOR YOU HAVE NEED OF ENDURANCE, SO THAT WHEN YOU HAVE DONE THE WILL OF GOD YOU MAY RECEIVE WHAT IS PROMISED! (Hebrews 10:32–36 ESV)