SOAP Devotional 2014-01-16
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
…But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. (Hebrews 11:35b-39 NLT)
Another group who still had great faith. Like two days ago, the group also did not receive the promise until heaven. Unlike yesterday, those who received great things, this bunch instead had enough faith to endure severe hardships without the great victories. Their faith allowed them to suffer torture, prison, poverty, and even death, and they kept their faith in God so strongly that it earned them a good reputation.
Over the last three days we have seen “faith without”, “faith with”, and “faith through”, and the one central theme has been a focus and a trust in the one true God. Our faith is in Him and not just for things. God decides which of these three we will operate in and for which seasons we go through. To a degree, I have been through all three. And, yet, my faith has been the same. I trust God!
Father, I have to admit I prefer the “faith with” seasons in my life above the other two. But I realize that you have used the “faith without” and “faith through” seasons to make me who I am and to equip me to understand others better. I do trust you! Thank you for having my life and my faith in your more than capable hands.