Day 32: The Victory of Faith
Scripture to meditate on: Hebrews 11:30-40 Faith’s Triumph and Endurance
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.
By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
This passage speaks to me of The God who encounters us at the intersection of our deepest perils, obstacles, and impossibilities. Each story mentioned is worth rereading or reading if you’ve never given yourself the opportunity to read. As you read, it is almost difficult to find yourself without a sense of faith billowing up inside you. Paul tells us “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”. The act of hearing is for us to create a habit of continual contemplation of God’s miracles throughout time as laid out for us in the scriptures. One might be tempted to think: how can these stories of old do something for me in the midst of what I’m going through now? I once heard it said that the Book from which we read in no ordinary book. This Book is Spirit. It is Alive. It tells stories but it also Breathes life. It has the capability to breathe and weave inside us the very faith we need. The Lord is the author of our inceptual Faith, but He is also the author of our daily faith as we let Him. The passage also illuminates the sobering truth that some did not prevail or receive what they’d prayed for, in fact some were persecuted for it. It is evident however, that the latter have a deeper, transcendent understanding of faith that surpasses the very answer they were seeking. They are “overwhelmed with his Sovereignty and Majesty” (as we’ve learned from Job’s story in past devotionals). Ultimately, I think this passage alludes to our posture regarding faith being one that lives between two book-end truths displayed in His word: “With God all things are possible” and “Never the less Lord, thy will be done”.
Questions to ponder:
- What does this passage say about God?
- What does this passage say about me or my relationships?
- What should I do in light of this passage?