Faith That Wins
Leslie S. Rainey is a missionary who served the Lord for some years in the Holy Land until refused a renewal of his visa. He now labours in Zamia. In this country of his adoption, he makes close contacts with college students. He has written several books particularly for them. Pray for his work.
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11:32-40
In our study of this great chapter on the value and victory of faith, we have seen its demonstration in the lives of Old Testament saints. In these verses before us we follow on to note that faith not only works by love (Gal. 5:6), but overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). It is the quality of life that does not raise its voice against God but humbly submits to His will whether life or death.
The writer mentions six names, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthah, David and Samuel and these not according to the order of the Old Testament. He passes on without comment for the Old Testament records speak of the shining faith of these dedicated men of God. Now he lists two classes — those who overcame (33-35) and “others” who were “tortured, not accepting deliverance” (35-37). Thus this well informed author of the history of God’s ancient people emphasizes the tremendous value of faith, but is quick to point out there are victors and victims in the life of faith.
Victors by Faith
Often the question is asked in what way might faith be increased. There is only one way for faith to develop and grow exceedingly and that is feeding on the food of faith, the Scriptures of Truth. Living in the land of Israel with all its bias and unbelief concerning the Holy Oracles of God has taught us anew to read, ponder and inwardly digest the Word of God. The early Christians as well as Old Testament saints knew the distinction of triumphing in the will of God or suffering in the will of God. Some by means of faith obtained deliverance from the edge of the sword, others by means of faith tasted death by the edge of the sword. The faith that overcomes is that quality of life that rests unquestioningly on the Word and will of God. How difficult to be able to say, “Let it be as He will;” so said Job; so said the three noble Hebrews of faith years ago (Dan. 3:17-18).
Victims by Faith
Only a few years ago the Christian world was deeply moved by the martyrdom of the five young men in Ecuador. By faith they were called of God to the needy land of Ecuador, and by faith they did not escape the edge of the sword. While today we do not know fully the ultimate sequel to such faithfulness unto death, it the part of faith to rest in the will of God and God’s grace is given as the need demands. How helpful when pondering the strange acts of God to recall whilst James the apostle was slain with the edge of the sword, Peter was set at liberty (Acts 12:2, 7). John the Baptist had a tragic end, but an earthquake liberated Paul and Silas. Thus in the midst of much to test and try the faith of God’s elect, how wonderful to be able to say, “Thy will be done,” in all matters whether small or great. God can give grace to say it under some great sorrow or separation, and in days of defeated purposes or grievious disappointment, so that eventually we may obtain a good report through faith.