Hebrews 11

This is a new section here! I want my blog to glorify God and be a source of encouragement for other women in various stages of life and their Christian walk. While you don’t have to be Christian to read my blog, my faith is the source of any wisdom I have to offer. To dive deeper into that with you, I’ll be posting about the various chapters I’m reading through and my reflections on them. I’d love for you to engage with me here so we can help each other better understand the Scriptures!

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The past few weeks I’ve been reading through the book of Hebrews. Our church is actually going to be walking through the book together this fall as well, so it seems I’ve gotten a head start. What follows is exactly what I wrote in my journal today with a few minor additions, which are in parentheses.

Hebrews 11 is an interesting chapter. It gives almost all, or at least a long list, of the scriptural “greats” and talks about how each of them did (crazy) things, obeying God because of their faith that all of it was part of God’s plan for the restoration of Israel. The funny thing is they all – except for Enoch, verse 5 – died! And Israel was not yet restored. In fact I don’t think - I’m fairly certain that - they didn’t really know what God meant when he told them about Israel’s restoration.

I get pumped up reading chapter 11 because I know what’s coming in chapter 12! Since this was a letter it likely would’ve been read in one sitting anyways, not broken into chunks like we often read the Bible (so the original readers wouldn’t have been discouraged). In the context of the previous 10 chapters, it’s hard to imagine the author would be so encouraging, then talk about all these people that died for their faith, then say it’s actually all pointless – i.e. more encouragement is coming!

I guess the important part is that all of these people took steps and chances that didn’t make sense at the time, and maybe not even before they died. But they did so believing that God had a good, perfect, bigger plan, that obedience was due him, and that he would follow through on all his promises whether they got to see it firsthand or not.

And so for me, and all Christians today, obedience and faith must be the same. Salvation has been completed but the grand plan is still in motion – we are waiting for Christ to return and finish the job (of restoration, bringing heavenly Kingdom to earth). Waiting is something that has characterized God’s people for centuries. I read something recently about rest or patience (can’t remember which but it could apply to both), that those things show we trust God’s plan and timeline above our own. And so we wait, believing his way is better and that he will keep his promises.

My faith today means talking to people and being friendly for the sake of the gospel. There are people that don’t know or believe Jesus yet, and it’s one of my jobs to introduce them. Another job is to encourage my brothers and sisters, my Church community, as we all walk and wrestle this challenging life of faith. It couldn’t have been easy for Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Noah, Gideon, and all those other men and women to be faithful to God’s commands (go read their stories and tell me you’d have an easy time doing them). But they obeyed. And so we obey. Though it’s hard and sometimes seemingly disappointing (or crazy). But chapter 12 is coming with more encouragement, pointing to our true hope and ultimate encouragement!