I would describe the book of Hebrews in the New Testament as a direct from God on how believers are to walk by faith and not by sight. Throughout this 13 chapter book, the author encourages believers to persevere in faith in difficult trials because in the end, God will come through for his people. Chapter 11 highlights this truth the best, as it is filled with heroes and heroines of faith throughout the Old Testament such as Abraham, David, Samson, Noah, Deborah, Enoch and so many more. These men and women of God were heralded for their faith in God and even more for their ability to see God move on their behalf. Just think about Abraham for a moment and all of the things that God did through him and for him, simply because he trusted God.
However, the chapter does not end with his applause or the applause of someone else who saw God come through for them, but with the applause of those who had faith but never saw the promise of God fulfilled in their lives. These men and women held onto what God said he would do, but he did not do it and that makes me sad. Instead they were tempted, they were sawn in two, and they were persecuted, stoned and put to death. They were pressed in on every side and never got out of the wilderness or the dark night of the soul not because of what they did not do, or because of their sin but simply because God deemed it so.
What makes me any different than these? What makes me any more special or for that matter any less special than these men and women of faith who did not see the promises of God in their lives come to pass? Perhaps because I have studied and earned degree after degree, maybe God has seen my good works over time and has rewarded me accordingly. Maybe I have to work at it even more than this, and spend more time praying and fasting in order to see his promises fulfilled. Maybe I need to repent more, maybe I need to cry more, maybe I need to give more, or do some other sort of spiritual aerobic in order to receive that for which I believe that God has created me. The only thing wrong with these assumptions or these queries is that I know that they will not move God’s hand to act. His Word, and specifically Ephesians 2, says that I am saved by grace through faith and that it is not because of good works or the lack thereof. God’s ability to fulfill those promises has to do with him, and nothing else. I simply have to have faith in him and trust his timing.
An excerpt from Dancing on Hot Coals