Daily Reading: Hebrews 12
Hebrews chapter 11 is often called the “Great Hall of Faith”. The words “by faith” are repeated over and over again, as we read of highlighted narratives from the Word. These were ordinary people, like you and me, that God worked through in mighty ways. There is one major concept that stands out when reading through chapter 11; that being that they were assured of and embraced the promises given to them by God- by faith (v13)! All of these individuals were used in great ways by God, because they took God at His Word and stepped out by faith. God honored their faith and used them mightily.
Chapter 11 is there to encourage us on! Why? It is easier to trust in the promises of God when things are seemingly easy; when we see God moving in our lives and situations being worked out. But what about the times in life when things are difficult, we cannot see how they will be worked out and God appears silent? As humans, we tend to forget what God has done in the past, when we’re facing hardship; God knows that! Thus, the written examples in Hebrews 11, throughout the Word and in each other’s lives; to encourage us onward- focused on Him and what He’s done and will do!
This mindset of remembering is not something new. Noah, Abraham, the Israelites and others were erecting memorials to God, to remember and to have the ability to tell their children and their children’s children of the great things God had done there (Deut. 6 & 11). This correlates with the concept of daily renewing our mind, seen throughout Scripture. It is what keeps our focus on God and His truth, through all of life.
Chapter 12 of Hebrews then furthers that thought of keeping our eyes on Jesus, in a slightly different manner. When we have our eyes fixed on truth, we then by faith do not get entangled so easily in sin and can run with endurance. This is faith in action that the unbelieving world needs to see! As the first verse states, we are surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses.” People are always watching! The unsaved world and likewise those around us that are brothers and sisters in Christ. The hardships we face may be to grow our faith, but also may be to show God’s power to others! Keeping our focus on God and His truth is also important in situations in life, when we face God’s loving correction (v 3-11) as sons and daughters; knowing that God works for our good, sees the big picture and is molding us to be more like him in character.
All of this written, to keep our focus on the Word, on truth and who we are now in Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:20 tells us that we “were bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and spirit; which are God’s.” Daily renewing our minds will allow us to walk with God and bring glory to His name in this world, to pray without ceasing, to pursue peace with all people (v14), holiness and be rooted and grounded securely; not flippant and giving up what we are in Christ for a temporal pleasure with no eternal value, such as Esau (v17).
What about you?
Are you intentionally remembering what God has done in your life; through good times and difficult ones?