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Living Under the Cross

Published 12/3/19

Read Hebrews 11:16

"But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city."


Reflect

Read through Hebrews 11 and think about these questions: How is faith defined in this chapter? What does hope have to do with it? What stories told in this chapter have you heard before? Does this chapter shed any additional light on why those men and women did what they did?


How do you go on living when you know the axe is about to fall? How do you get out of bed when you know today could be the day when your spouse or child finally succumbs to their illness? How do you go on when you know things will only get worse?


The same way Abraham did: one step at a time. In Genesis 22, we read that Abraham was instructed by God to sacrifice his only son Isaac. To us, this sounds barbaric. But though it broke his heart, Abraham gathered his things and left.


Each step must have felt like a mile. Was this really happening? What happened to God's promise to make Abraham's offspring as numerous as the sand on the shore? Some people question what Abraham did: if he really loved his son, how could he go so far as to strap him on the altar and raise the knife?


Because, as much as he loved his son, Abraham trusted God all the more.

In Hebrews, we learn a little of what went through Abraham's mind on the way to the sacrifice. Up to that point in his life, Abraham had seen God work in many miraculous ways--his son Isaac (born when Abraham and his wife were approaching 100 years old)--was one of them. He knew that when God made a promise, He would keep it. Hebrews tells us that Abraham "considered that God was able even to raise him [Isaac] from the dead" in order to keep His promise (Hebrews 11:19, ESV).


So, this doesn't necessarily mean that if we believe hard enough everything will turn out the way you want. But we do need to place our hope where it belongs--on God and His ultimate plan for the world and all those who love Him.


Pray

Lord Jesus, thank You for being faithful and unchanging. Please give me the strength I need to get through the troubles of the day. Amen.

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