"Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated--of whom the world was not worthy--wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth." (emphasis mine)
There are parts of the world where this description is true of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It's not true for the majority of people around me. Honestly, I don't want to suffer this way! Would I, if push came to shove? Probably. But would I volunteer. Not on my life. But Moses did volunteer. He chose to be mistreated with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. That's what Hebrews 11 tells us in verse 25.
But this isn't the part that really stood out to me. I'm already pretty familiar with how I don't measure up to the believers of the Bible. Here's what gets me:
"And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect." (emphasis mine)
I so do not deserve to be made perfect with the likes of these people. God should have just made them perfect. But He didn't. He chose to wait that I might be made perfect with them by the blood of Christ. I am not worthy. If you read this blog long enough, or if you've spent any time around me at all, you will see or have seen that even my best intentions are laden with sin. No wonder they're like filthy rags before God my Father. Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, that Christ died on the cross for my poor wretched soul. By His grace, I will be made perfect with others who appear to be far more deserving, who have made far more sacrifices, who have displayed far greater faith.
May your day be blessed as you allow this truth to sink in to your life as well. May the result be joy and praise to our Lord and Savior. If you don't understand this post, don't simply shrug it off, ask questions, your life could depend on it. And please, fellow believers, allow this to be a reminder to pray for those who are suffering for their faith in Christ. If it's not you now, it could very well be one day.
"Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." (Jude 1:24-25).