God worked in and through the saints of old. Through faith their lives and our lives become the stage upon which God performs miracles, acts of strength and mercies which give him all glory. This faith is focused on the ultimate fulfillment of promise in Jesus…
32 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, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 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.
35 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. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 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— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
At the end of Hebrews 11, we see a list of other examples of faith in God and we hear of their work in the kingdom of God. Through faith, they accomplished much because God was with them and working through them. The first name is Gideon, who was instructed to send back the majority of his army so that his victory could only be viewed as the might of God’s hand.
And that’s the point. Through faith we can do amazing things, because through faith our lives become the stage upon which God performs miracles and acts of strength and mercy which give him all glory. Through faith.
Where there is faith, weakness is turned to strength, people are rescued from certain death, precious loved ones are resurrected, and even still, many endure mistreatment and even death with godly perseverance. Through faith.
These mentors of ours are commended for their faith, yet they did not receive the great promise of God – the ultimate rest of God – which awaits all who trust in Jesus. Why? Well, it appears that God has planned something better for them and for us which can only be assembled and fulfilled when we are together.
They will be made perfect when we are made perfect. This appears to be eluding to the second coming of Jesus. When the perfect comes and the imperfect fades away, we will be one with each other and the saints of old and the Lord himself. Through faith.
Through faith, which at that moment, will become sight.
Do you have the faith to rest and rely on this promise? Will you – can you – live in light of this promise until that promised day? We will need to rely upon a faith like these witnesses are displaying for us.