32 How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. 33 By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. 35 Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. 39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us..–Hebrews 11:32-40 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the way.
All the people mentioned in Chapter 11’s Faith Hall of Fame were used greatly by God because they remained faithful to God through all of their trials and temptations. They earned a good reputation while they were here on earth, but none of them received all that God has promised them and us. The total fulfillment of the promises is yet to come. More of the promises were fulfilled at Calvary and after the resurrection. But the “better” thing that God had in mind for them and for us will only be given to all of us when Jesus returns to take us home to live with Him for eternity. By faith, we hang onto the hope of the complete fulfillment of all of God’s promises. Now we only get to see glimpses, but one day we will see all of it clearly.
12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.–1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT)
10 Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask for something special to see from the Lord your God. Ask for it to be as deep as the place of the dead or as high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask. I will not test the Lord.” 13 Then Isaiah said, “Listen now, O people of David! Is it too small a thing for you to test men, that you will test my God as well? 14 So the Lord Himself will give you a special thing to see: A young woman, who has never had a man, will give birth to a son. She will give Him the name Immanuel.–Isaiah 7;10-4 (New Life)
God is waiting to show you the way.
Ahaz was king of Judah. Judah was being attacked by a coalition of nations and Ahaz and Judah were in deep trouble. God sent Isaiah with a message of reassurance, but Ahaz refused to honor God’s request. His refusal to ask for a sign was not faith, it was arrogance. God gave him a sign anyway. A virgin would bear a child and call His name Immanuel (God is with us). This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 1: 20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: 23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”
And God is still with us, He will never leave us nor forsake us. That’s the Good News that we are to spread to the world. That is the hope that we have as Christians It is that hope that sustains us and gives us our joy. A joy that no one can take from us because “nothing can separate us from the love of God”. Nothing, absolutely nothing, no time, no where!!!! Rejoice, for a child is born!