“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.”Hebrews 11:13
It’s easy to read Hebrews 11 and be captivated by the great acts of the heroes of the faith noted there. We might forget that they were ordinary people like us. But marveling at their accomplishments is not what the writer of Hebrews intended for his first readers. Like the refrain of a hymn whose words repeat the thrust of the whole song, we read the echoed phrase throughout Hebrews 11: “by faith.”
Everything each one of these people did was done “by faith,” living in imperfect expectation of what God had promised. And they all died never even obtaining it. However, Chapter 12 opens with the glorious proclamation that Christ had come, faith was perfected in Him, and now it is our turn to live “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (v. 2).
Our charge now is to run the race by that same faith, to experience how Jesus changes everything. The ancients looked toward the cross; we look back to its perfect work. Put off the sin “that hinders and… entangles,” and head for the finish line.
Your race and mine will be over before we realize it. Let’s live by faith, holding nothing back. In the Spirit’s power, finish well.