Hebrews 11:1-2 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. (NKJV)
Today as I write this, it is Sunday, and I always look forward to going to church to study God's Word and to fellowship with my Christian brothers and sisters. It wasn't going to happen today, because my human body would not let me. (I have rheumatoid arthritis.) When I am hurting really badly, sometimes I get discouraged, and this morning happened to be one of those days. I was disappointed that I couldn't attend service today, because our pastor is teaching a series on Hebrews, and the text for today's message happens to be one of my favourite passages in the Bible: Hebrews 11 — the faith chapter.
After a few moments of mollygrubbbing and self-pity, I decided that I would read and study the Scripture here at home. As I was reading this passage, God spoke to my heart and reminded me of the great faith of all those who had died — those who, though not having received what was promised, yet kept their faith in Him. There are things in our lives that can bring us down, but if we turn to His Word, He will definitely bring joy to us.
We have a choice. This is something I have often told our three sons as they were growing up. They could decide if they were going to have a joyful day or a bad day. Yes, we can have extenuating circumstances that can cause us to hurt or be sad, but we can be joyful in our hearts even in those times, knowing God is in control.
As I finished reading Hebrews 11, rejoicing in the fact that God is faithful and will complete His promises, I decided to read a little in the next chapter, which encouraged me even more. The Scripture simply says,
Hebrews 12:1-2 – Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NKJV)
The next time we have a bad day, how are we going to respond to it? It might even be a blessing in disguise, granted so that we might spend some extra time with our heavenly father.
Prayer: Precious heavenly Father, we thank You for this day, and we thank You for Your Word and for the examples You have given to us in the Bible. We pray that You will give us strength today in our physical and spiritual bodies that we may serve You wherever You want and need us. In Your name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional