Saturday, July 05, 2008

More on Faith and Life

I have been reflecting more on my last post about faith and life and the imitation of the faith of others. My mind recalled Hebrews 11:32-40 about those "of whom the world was not worthy." Consider these vastly different outcomes. faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

If we were to imitate the "result of their conduct," is there anyone who would not try to imitate the first half of these verses? We all like lives of faith when by it we can do these great things. We want the "result of our conduct" to be great victories.

But by imitating their faith, we recognize that in the sovereign providence of God, our "great things" may be to die in a cave or be sawn in two, or some such "result of our conduct."

By imitating faith, we allow for either result with an attitude of grateful rejoicing. By imitating the outcome of their life, we might only allow for one, and then judge the goodness and rightness of faith by whether or not we received what we wanted.

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