Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (
The Word of God is the lens through which the child of God must view life—to see things as they truly are. The invisible realities of God’s activity are hidden from the eyes of the unbelieving. All that they can see are the illusions of the material world that will someday fade into nothingness. This world is full of deception—a satanic fog envelopes it. Demonic darkness enshrouds the globe. Blind people stumble along after blind guides with disastrous effect. But God has given us a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (see
Word pierces the darkness. By it, we see
Heaven’s perspective, and can see beyond the temporal and see through the
transitory, to find the path that leads to real life.
Think of Noah who was able to see that the lifestyle of those around him was leading to judgment—the pleasures of sin were only for a season, while the wages of sin would be death. He saw a flood that was coming, and the plan for escape for him and his family.
What of Abraham? He saw a distant land where God would lead him—the light of revelation as a beacon to bring him out of a pagan land for a walk of faith that would eventually take him to a city of
not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
His response to that revelation would yield blessing to him and through
Then there was Jacob, who saw a stairway stretched from earth to heaven, where the angels of God ascended and descended from the throne. He was running from the wrath of his brother and into an unknown future, even then in a dark wilderness with only a rock for a pillow. God reminded him that He was with him, His angels would watch over him, and that Jacob would not be abandoned in his difficult journey.
We might look at Joseph’s dream. He would become a ruler, with even his family bowing to him. That dream sustained him as he traveled a circuitous path in many harsh conditions before he would reach his destination and the fulfillment of God’s promise.
Don’t forget Moses. From childhood, a vision had been birthed in him to deliver his people from slavery. He tried in his own strength, and God had to drive him into a desert of discipline for forty years, until Moses beheld a new sight—a bush aflame, yet not consumed—the voice of God summoning him to fulfill his mission in life.
David’s dream was also delayed, but not denied. He was set aside to be a king while only a shepherd boy. Many obstacles would rise up to block his path, but he would overcome as the truth God had put in his heart inspired him to press on when others might have given up. At last, he would be crowned, even as God promised.
These all were bound together with a common thread—they heard the Word of the Lord, and heeded His call. They saw with eyes of faith the invisible reality of God and His purposes, even though their natural eyes would have disclosed just the opposite.
What of you and me? The chapter concludes by suggesting that we are links in the unbroken chain of those testifying to faith’s realities. “that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.” (
The Message) They
have run their leg of the race, passed on the baton from generation to
generation, until reaching our hands.
The implication is that for the race to be won, we must not drop the
baton, but we must also run our leg of the relay. (see Heb.11:40).
Here then is our challenge:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (
Heb.12:1-2) [emphasis added]
It’s our turn now. We can look into the Word of God with eyes of faith and see the invisible. There are new exploits to be done, even as those champions of the past. Don’t look at the temporal; focus on the eternal. The cross appeared to be the end—abject failure and the triumph of evil. Jesus, saw something different. He saw the joy set before Him—how the Light of the World could not be extinguished, though hidden in a tomb for three days. The despairing disciples would see Him risen in power and glory! So may we—and we must. Remember, the darkest hour is just before the dawn.