13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise (Hebrews 6).
We wait for people, services, deliveries, reports or results throughout our lives. We wait because we are expecting what we hope for. Waiting requires patience and perseverance. We don’t like delays, so we often give up and lose our patience. Patience suppresses anger and frustration to accommodate others. We try to be patient with those who get under our skin. When we are patient, we believe that others are capable of doing better, or that they are trying their best. Anticipation for a desired outcome will keep us from losing steam.
35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the Will of God, you will receive what He has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, He Who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved (Hebrews 10).
Be patient by being useful and productive in what you can control. As a Christian, who believes that The Lord Jesus is coming back, hold fast your confidence in the promise of His return. Persevere in hardship by continuing to do God’s Will. You will not fail as long as you are doing what honors Him. Don’t give up waiting for The Lord’s return. As each day passes, the closer the day approaches. Those who lose their patience will begin to see no benefit in living for God. They may begin to doubt that Christ will come back; they may see their Christian life as a figment of their own imagination. With time they start falling away. We should not be those who shrink back; but persevere each day, with confidence that will be richly rewarded. We will wait for as long as it takes, while we do the Will of God. Our confidence is firmly placed in The One Who said He is coming back. Our faith will not fail us; it will keep us steadfast.
7 Rest in The Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret—it only causes harm. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on The Lord, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more. Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more (Psalm 37).
What does it mean to rest in The Lord? It means to rely solely on God’s Provision and Who He is. Confidence in God will keep us from trusting our own understanding. Sometimes, we get stimulated and combustible because of the wickedness around us, that is against God’s Ways. Sometimes, we Christians wonder why wickedness continues to go untrammeled around us. We don’t understand why our prayers against violence, murders, injustices and evil are not being answered. We have limited power to stop any of the evil around us. We are to wait for God to mete out the justice that only He can bring. We have to patiently wait for God to right the wrongs. When things don’t seem to see change, we can become angry with God and hate others. Anger will cause us to take matters into our own hands. When we act on our anger or displeasure, we make poor choices. By trusting in our ability to repay wrongs done, we thrust God aside as The Righteous Judge. In due time, God will recompense the wicked, even though they seem to have accomplished their goals. Wait patiently for God’s Justice. God knows everything we don’t know or see. He is the reliable Witness and Judge. Patience will give us peace, because of our confidence in God. He will not turn a blind eye to those who prosper in their wickedness.
10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His Name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6).
If you love what you do, you will have the patience to complete it. Love compels us to grin and bear it. When we labor for the needs of others, we make great sacrifices. Sometimes, it can seem like we are doing too much for others and we start to burn out. As one serving God, your labor of love will not be forgotten. Helping others teaches us how to express God’s love and compassion. Those who serve with perseverance will be furnished from God’s Goodness, so that they always have what they need.
I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. 2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps (Psalm 40).
There are situations that we find ourselves in, where there’s no way of escape; sometimes because of poor choices. With prayer and faith, we are well-situated to get God’s attention. Bare your heart to God about all the trouble you are in. Keep in constant touch with Him and plead for deliverance and resolution. Because you wait for Him, with bated breath, He will not fail to send help. He will pull you out of the pit, and set your feet on stable ground. He will lead you out and establish you according to His Will. Wait patiently for the Lord, even when it seems like He is silent.
12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3).
Since it takes all sorts to make the world; there are those who disagree with Christian values and doctrine. Not everyone will welcome Christianity and some will be offended and angered by it. Those who desire to live for Christ must be prepared to suffer for what they believe in and who they are. Just as The Master suffered, the servants will too. Christ was crucified by those who hated Him, because He claimed to be the Son of God, doing the work of The Father. If we are united with Him in His death, we will suffer persecution as well. Whether we live or die, we abide in Him. Our desire to live as He did will steel us to suffer as He did.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (Ephesians 4).
There are times when we lose our patience with others, because they seem to foul up often. Since no one is perfect, we have to try to be patient with others. Patience is expressed by humility and gentleness towards others. We are to make every effort to love others and pursue peace. Within the Body of Christ (fellow believers), we can still have disagreements. We are still individuals with different quirks, personalities and sometimes still struggling to overcome sin. We are united as one Body in Christ, by His Spirit. We will be able to live up to our calling when we are willing to show concern for others, by bearing with them just as God puts up with us.
Patience is a skill that develops with time. When we have confidence in God, we will not be hasty to act on our own understanding. We can learn to accommodate others’ weaknesses, because God is always patient with us. When evil seems to run amok, we should not fret with anger, but wait for God’s Justice, in prayer. Our faith will be tested by those who oppose us. Just as Christ suffered, we become more like Him in our own suffering. God will reward our labor of love for others, if we don’t throw in the towel. Our confidence is not in our own strength; but who we have become in Christ. He lives in us by His Spirit and we have everything we need to be victorious. Our love for God and others will motivate us to stay the course.
10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the Salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us (2 Timothy 2).
Life is not a steady turn of events. Seasons change just as our circumstances are as shifting sands. We have to adapt to the situations we face or change our approach to meet challenges. We may have to learn new strategies or accept what we can’t change. We will need to be calm, humble and receptive when faced with unfamiliar circumstances. Being adaptable will keep us from being overwhelmed. Be receptive, open-minded and practical.
4 Show me Your Ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your Truth and teach me, for You are The God of my Salvation. On You I wait all day (Psalm 25).
As we face the vagaries of each day, we can incline our ears to God’s Wisdom. His Ways are higher than ours, and they are always for our good. Be willing to learn and adapt to God’s Perspective. Seek God in prayer and meditate on His Word. Wait to hear what He reveals to you. Pray in every daunting circumstance, and trust God to give you direction. He will not mislead you; He will reveal the truth about you and your situation. We have to be malleable to reproof, and be willing to change the traits that will only serve to make things worse. Learn from The God Who delivers from troubles. Let Him take the lead, as you put your confidence in His Ways.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My Ways higher than your ways, and My Thoughts more than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. 11 So shall My Word be that goes forth from My Mouth; It shall not return to Me void; but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55)
God doesn’t do anything helter-skelter. When He speaks, He does so with significance and purpose. None of His Words are futile to those who receive and act on them. His Ways are for those who are willing to apply them. His Thoughts and Ways are higher than all the wisdom we can attain from other sources. So effective are His Words that when He speaks them, they do what pleases Him. His Words enhance life and they never fail to accomplish His desire. They are like snow or rain that falls on the ground, watering all it comes in contact with, and making it fruitful. His Words supply our needs and the needs of those who are impacted by our obedience to Him. Those who are receptive and teachable receive God’s Instructions. God speaks what will prosper according to His Will. In uncertainty, God’s Words have order, significance and benefit.
18 While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and The Lord has taken away; Blessed be The Name of The Lord.” 22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong (Job 1).
How does one accept the loss of a loved one? There are so many unanswered questions surrounding death. Life is not a bed of roses nor is it always sweetness and light. As there are babies being born, there are people breathing their last. Loss, death, life, joy, sorrow, health and sickness are all part of life. How can we adapt to the painful stages of life? God Who gives generously also takes away. Nothing created is ours to hold on to, because we don’t have the power to preserve it. We truly have no control over our lives; let alone our heart which works without our help. So in all things good and bad, God is in complete control.
He doesn’t owe us our loved ones, the air we breathe, or the sun in the sky. He gave us those we love, the things we enjoy, because He loves us. He expresses His Love through all that we cherish. We have to learn to thank Him for giving in the first place. Let every trouble compel you to remember God’s Goodness.
Job lost all his children in one day. He didn’t curse God upon receiving the news of their death. He grieved vehemently, fell on his knees and worshiped. Job acknowledged in his grief that he didn’t come to this world with anything to his name. He accepted that he was destitute from his birth, but for God’s Love and Goodness. He blessed His God as One Who gives and has a right to take back what belongs to Him. Job also understood that his life was fleeting just as his own children’s. He knew that He would return just as He came, without anything. In all this Job accepted his lot, and still blessed God. What purpose would it serve Him to be bitter with God? Job knew nothing he did would bring his children back. Take a page from Job. It is very hard to deal with the loss of a loved one, especially a child. We are stewards of our children; they belong to their Creator before they are ours. As we had no hand in forming them in the womb, God has His Purpose well-established for them. In grief and sorrow, we can see God’s desire to give us our loved ones for a time. Since nothing on this side of life is eternal, we who believe in The Risen Lord Jesus Christ believe that we will be reunited for eternity, and never to be separated in the Kingdom of God.
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2).
As a believer and committed follower of The Lord Jesus Christ, live as one who is redeemed. Your Salvation cost The Lord His Life; and you must now live through Him. Make it your purpose to live diligently and cautiously, so as not to lose your inheritance. Work out your Salvation with fear and trembling—wholeheartedly in reverent obedience to God. It is God in us, by the Spirit of The Lord Jesus Christ, who works in us to be willingly obedient to do what pleases Him. We adapt to the new life in Christ by submission. Just as He came to do the Will of The Father, it should be our purpose to do the same.
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, “Here I Am, I have come to do Your Will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that Will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of The Body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10).
Christ’s death on the Cross, for the sins of the world, was the Will of The Father. By His death we were made holy once and for all. Those who have exchanged their lives for His, nailed their sinful body to that Cross, by becoming one with Him in death. They are now one in His Risen Body; they have new life in Him. They are now acceptable to The Father. Doing God’s Will has eternal consequences for us and others. If God’s Will is death, it will not be in vain. Like we saw earlier, whatever God sends will not return void. Christ didn’t return empty, but gave life to many. When we who are in Christ return to Him by death, we will have prospered in what God desired for us.
Here you are now to do His Will; whether it cost you your life, or you lose what is most valuable to you. The offering of our lives and everything we cherish to do God’s Will, is more pleasing to Him than any burnt offerings. Every event in the life of God’s children is His Will for them. No child of God goes through trials that are worthless. Every pain or sacrifice has eternal value.
20 Now may The God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen (Hebrew 13).
God is working in the lives of those who are obedient and are one with Christ. God sways us to do what is good; and by doing, we are being made complete and pleasing before Him. His Will is that He works in us, in all circumstances, what is well pleasing before Him. So that no matter what we are going through we are kept in good works, and are always complete, wanting for nothing. We can ask God to work in us what is pleasing before Him, by giving us goals that have an enduring impact. Be complete in every good work that is according to God’s Will. While you are doing His Will, let Him make you pleasing in Christ Jesus.
31 “For has anyone said to God, I have borne chastening; I will offend no more. 32 Teach me what I do not see; If I have done iniquity, I will do no more?” (Job 34)
God disciplines His children because He loves them and wants to protect them from willful sin. Every parent lays down the law with consequences for disobedience. When we fess up to error, we accept correction and discipline. Bear under the Almighty’s discipline and learn righteousness. Let God teach us about the sins we are not aware of, so that we don’t repeat them. If we sin against God unknowingly, we have an opportunity to learn more about what is abominable to Him. When we are disciplined for being rebellious, we should accept His chastening and commit to steer clear of repeating the offence. Accept discipline by taking responsibility for missing the mark. Make a commitment to walk upright before God and understand His Ways.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in The Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of The Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to The Lord (Ephesians 5).
Now that we have been brought from darkness to light, by the knowledge we have received and the sanctification of The Lord, we must live as children of light. We put off the old and begin to walk in the newness of Christ. Our desires, values, and character should align with His. By His Spirit in us, we nurture goodness, righteousness, and uphold truth. We are no longer deceived by our own passions, but have acknowledged that as sinners we are in need of Grace. As children who are enlightened by His Wisdom, Word and Counsel, we must apply what we know is acceptable to Him, in every area of our lives.
God is in control of every stage of our lives. He is well-acquainted with our grief and sorrow. We learn of His Goodness even in tragic circumstances. He keeps us in good works that nurture in us what is well pleasing before Him. In Christ we have everything we need to live as children of light. By accepting discipline, we commit to stay the course as those redeemed for His Glory. We have God’s Provision to live according to His Purpose for us. In every situation, He will guide and lead us by His Word, and it will accomplish what He sends it to do for us. We are adaptable to all that this life throws at us, as long as we continue on the path laid out for us.
31 For Who is God, except The Lord? And Who is a Rock, except our God? 32 It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. 33 He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on my high places. 34 He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You have also given me the shield of Your Salvation. Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. 36 You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip (Psalm 18).
Confidence is an expression of courage, resolve and determination, in the ability to accomplish a goal. When we are confident, we thrust aside our shortcomings by focusing on our strengths. Confidence can be shaken when we feel intimidated. Fear can stifle optimism and deter our ambitions. People can sometimes make us question our character or abilities. Confidence is a positive outlook regardless of what others think. Our identity is a foundation on which we build our confidence. If we accept and appreciate who we are, we can be unabashed about our beliefs and values. As children of God, who belong to Him, our identity is in Christ alone. He is our solid foundation and we will never be put to shame.
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and Precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes in Him will by no means be put to shame.”(1 Peter 2)
We have a higher calling to live as Christ did. Though He was rejected by men, He was chosen by God. We should not be dismayed by others’ opinion of us. If we have been chosen by God, we are in the best league. God has a purpose for us, to be useful in serving Him. When we believe in The Lord Jesus and depend on Him as our chief cornerstone, He upholds us and guides our thinking. Every purpose of God for us is in Christ. As we build on Him, we become acceptable in Him. We offer ourselves as a habitation for Christ’s Presence.
By our obedience and daily sanctification, we cannot be put to shame. He honors those who honor Him. Spiritual sacrifices are the attributes we offer God to use for His Glory. We who are in Christ are being made acceptable to God. Our confidence is bolstered by God’s approval. We are a chosen work of His Hands, to do what is pleasing to Him.
14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end (Hebrews 3).
No one is as perfect as The Lord Jesus Christ. When we believe and obey, we become as He was to The Father—obedient and submissive to God’s Will. As partakers of Christ, we live as He did. He is the mentor we imitate. When we keep His Ways, we remain firmly grounded in Him. As we partake the nature of Christ, our confidence shifts from who we are to Who He is in us. Expressing His Character should motivate us to face each day. The confidence we have is based on who we have become in Christ. We must be eager to live out our faith as partakers of Christ.
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s Will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil (1 Peter 3).
Be eager to do good, and be confident that you are well able in Christ to do what is right. If you suffer for doing God’s Will, you still have blessings laid aside for you. If it is Christ we sanctify and honor in our hearts, we will have no room to stumble. Though we may be reviled, we have an audience of One, Who should matter more to us. If we are asked to give an account of our hope and faith, we can answer with confidence. As hard as it is to not become irritated by those who question our faith, we have to respond with humility. It is Christ Who continues to make us who we are meant to be. We are not more valuable to Him than those who get under our skin. He died for the whole world. We don’t need to fear those who slander us. We maintain a good conscience by continuing to do good.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1)
Did you ever think that knowing how imperfect you are was something to be confident about? God didn’t choose to use those who are perfect by worldly standards— wealthy, highly educated or are well-known. God chose those who are looked down upon, disregarded or considered as lower orders, to reveal Himself. He chooses the weak or pariah because they don’t question His existence. When one realizes that they have nothing of physical value to offer God from their lives, yet are chosen, redeemed and set apart, they will believe they are valuable.
We should be excited about who we have become in Christ. When we gave our lives to Christ, we were not polished or refined before God. If we were to tell others about who we really were, many would not approve. Yet, God chose us for His Glory. Not only does God choose those who fall short of the world’s expectations, but also those He is underwhelmed with because they are sinners. However we slice it, we are not remarkable. But for Christ, we have nothing to be proud of. Be confident as Christ’s chosen, in spite of your frailties. God has set His seal of approval on you, regardless of who you are. He is no respecter of persons. God uses those who are considered garden-variety to confound the haughty. He will use those who are willing to know Him and learn from Him. We should only boast of the work of Christ in us. He is our wisdom, not measured by academic achievements; but by righteousness, sanctification and redemption.
35 “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the Glory of His Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8)”
Most of us want to feel like we belong in groups of people we spend time with. Unfortunately, we will not be accepted by everyone. We don’t have to try to fit in where we may not be welcome. There are people we know don’t share our values and are uncomfortable to be around. Though we may try to get along with everyone, we don’t have to try to impress everyone. We have to be content with who we are, by not trying to become what others would like us to be. Don’t lose your soul for another’s approval, by forfeiting your principles for their accolades. Don’t be ashamed of your identity in Christ or His Ways. Be willing to lose this life to gain His Life for you.
We deny Christ by living as though we don’t know Him. There’s a distinction between Christ’s followers and those who are not. Those who are ashamed of Him will deny His Presence in their lives. They will do so by conforming to the world’s expectations, letting their guard down and participating in what is against Christ’s Teachings. In the adulterous and sinful generation, as Christ put it, is no place to sacrifice your soul. They are not worth the value of your soul. If you lack the confidence to live for Christ, you lack the courage to preserve your soul. Don’t succumb under the pressure to impress others, at the expense of eternity. If you are not ashamed of The Lord Jesus, He will honor you before His Father. The Lord Jesus will be ashamed of all those who play into the hands of those who have rejected Him.
Through You we will push down our enemies; Through Your Name we will trample those who rise up against us. 6 For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me. 7 But You have saved us from our enemies, and have put to shame those who hated us. 8 In God we boast all day long, and praise Your Name forever (Psalm 44).
Don’t put your hope sorely on your strength, experience or human means. Put your hope in Almighty God. He is our shield, strong defense and victory. By His Mighty Name, He will save us from those who rise against us. If you put your confidence in God, you will not be overcome by your enemies. God will rescue and fight for those who hope in Him alone. Those who thrust aside their resources for God’s Provision will not be put to shame. In Him alone we can boast of victory and do so all day long.
15 For thus says The Lord God, The Holy One of Israel: “In returning and resting you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not, 16 and you said, “No, for we will flee on horses”— Therefore you shall flee! And, “We will ride on swift horses”— Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!” (Isaiah 30)
By repentance and returning to The Shepherd of our soul, we are reconciled to God. First things first—we repent, before we inquire or seek Him for our needs. We shall find rest in His forgiveness, and our souls will be saved from the consequences of sin. Spiritual matters precede the physical ones. We can be quiet in His Presence, by not worrying and fretting about the issues that are weighing us down. Our confidence in God Power will be our strength. But if we choose to face our trials without Him, we will not succeed. If we don’t seek His counsel, before we go on to face adversity, we will encounter difficulties.
13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well (Psalm 139).
How often do you look at yourself in the mirror and think that you are the marvelous work of God’s Hands? Don’t linger before the mirror, staring at the things you don’t like about your looks. You are the very design God intended when He formed you. Praise God that you are wonderfully made. You are not just amazing, but fearfully made; be awestruck by who you are. Let your soul know fully well that you are marvelous, wonderful and a work of praise to your Maker.
If we think of all the times we have fallen short of expectations, we would have a dim view of ourselves. If we are in Christ, we are God’s chosen, warts-and-all, so that He does a marvelous work in us. He will use us to show forth His Power, if we are willing to put aside our abilities for His. Regardless of what others may think of us, we can live our faith boldly by not denying our identity in Christ. Our confidence is in the One Who dwells in us. We are a wonderful and fearful work of God’s marvelous design. If we are accepted in The Son of God, we have been approved and qualified for God’s Purpose. We belong to the household of God, and we will not be put to shame. He will see to it that He equips us with the right character and resources to do His Will. Therefore, boast in Christ alone.
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him (1 John 5).
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4).
Humility is a rare trait in some who are privileged, opulent or hold a high position. One doesn’t have to be wealthy to be pompous. When someone has an inflated image of themselves, they consider others inferior to them. Achievements, level of education, income, talents or physical appearance can make some arrogant. We all strive to do our best in most stages of our lives; but we should not let our accomplishments go to our head. Everything we have attained has been taught to us, or passed down from others. We didn’t create ourselves; God created each one of us with unique abilities for His Purpose.
27 John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3).”
We have been endowed by God in different areas of responsibilities. If we are serving God, He will qualify us with the skills and talents necessary to be effective. It is God we serve and He should be magnified, and not ourselves. He must increase and we must decrease, in our attitude of self-importance. We are no better than others who serve and live for God in different capacities. The church leaders are not more important than the congregation they oversee. As The Body of Christ, we all play a vital role in honoring The Lord as we desire. He is Greater than all of us; we are fellow brothers and sisters, learning and growing in the knowledge of Christ. We should not be envious or competing for positions and roles within the church. In humility, God is exalted above our abilities and knowledge. We acknowledge that everything we have attained has been given to us from above. He can only increase in us when we are modest about ourselves. We let God’s Character define us, as we express ourselves. We are not defined by our accomplishments, profession, or wealth; He is our identity.
28 “But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these: 29 As for you, O king, thoughts came to your mind while on your bed, about what would come to pass after this; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be. 30 But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart (Daniel 2).”
God is the one who reveals secret things that will impact the lives of others. He unravels hidden mysteries to those He chooses to reveal to, by dreams or visions. Daniel was taken captive from Judah to Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar could not find any magician, astrologer or enchanter to tell him his dream or interpret it. God revealed the king’s dream to Daniel. Daniel’s response to this great privilege was not to toot his own horn. He professed God’s Greatness in Knowledge of things seen and unseen. Daniel didn’t see himself as wiser than all those who were unable to interpret the dream.
God chooses whoever He wants to speak to. That doesn’t make them wiser or more acquainted with God, but that God has a plan for them in His revelation. They must act on what they learn. They should share with others and not keep it to themselves. Give to others what God has freely given you. Knowledge that God reveals is not just for our benefit. We are not to withhold what would have an impact on another’s life; what belongs to God isn’t ours. The secrets belong to God and He reveals them for our sake and others’. We are no different from others in our ability to receive from God. He is the source of all wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philipians 2).
Selfish ambition puts self first before the interests of others. When one is selfish, they are inclined to inconvenience others or take advantage of them to benefit themselves. Looking out for the needs of others and not just our own puts them on the same level of importance as we are. We don’t have to compete with others, we can learn from them, by considering their views and concerns. With a humble opinion of oneself we can better appreciate others’ abilities, even as being a cut above our own. When we put others first, we will not have animosity toward them.
Christ wasn’t puffed up as The Son of God. He came as a human to do the Will of God. He obeyed God even if it meant His death on The Cross. He was humble to accept the responsibility of taking our sins upon Himself. Humility is a willingness to serve wherever you are needed. The humble do what is necessary for the good of others. Those who are humble hardly look for recognition for what they do. Their reward is getting things done, no matter how menial they are. Their works have great significance, as they enable things to run like a well-oiled machine. So, if we are in Christ, we must not see ourselves as grandiose, but obedient children serving God.
14 But God forbid that I should boast except in The Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation (Galatians 6).
Christ died for all of us so that we would be considered worthy to be called children of God. We had all fallen short of The Glory of God—God’s Standard of Good. None of us would pass muster before God and none of our accomplishments, righteousness, skills, or intelligence is impressive to Him. Christ’s Life is the Perfect Standard that pleases God. The works that the world considers excellent are inferior to God’s expectations. Christ died for kings, Pharisees, tax collectors, rich and poor alike. Our Creator is only pleased when we are made in His Likeness and Image—just as His Son. By dying on The Cross, Christ put to death our likeness of self-will, ambition and sin. No works of religious practices like circumcision, and other outward rituals can transform a person’s life. Only a new creation made in the Likeness of The Son of God will make us complete. The Life of The Risen Lord in us is acceptable to God. Don’t mind the braggarts, you have God’s Perfection living in you, by His Spirit. Glory in the work that The Spirit of Christ is achieving in you: making you more like Him and blameless before The Father.
41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s Name, and you do not receive Me. If another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, you who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?”(John 5)
There are those who strive to fit in with popular fads or ideologies. Why is it so hard to stand on our convictions? Some want to appeal to others so that they can feel like they are relevant. People will like you today, then dislike you for a petty reason another day. Christ was followed by large crowds who wanted to hear Him, be ministered to and see miracles. The same crowds demanded that He be crucified. Look for honor from God and not from men. If you have received and believed The Lord Jesus Christ, then you have to deny anyone else the honor that He alone deserves. Don’t fritter your days trying to impress others. Remain unabashed about your relationship with Christ, by how you live. We only live once, so we should only seek honor from God in this life and in eternity.
13 “Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”
14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth (Exodus 33).”
Moses pleaded with God to reveal Himself to him, so that He could learn more about God’s Ways. Moses was called by God to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and bring them to the promised land. That being a great honor, Moses didn’t want to let all that power go to his head. He humbled himself before God and sought to know God’s Ways so that He can lead only under the guidance of God.
Don’t embark on a great undertaking with only your skills and know-how. Child of God, wait for God’s direction! Find favor in God’s sight by depending on Him. Ask for God’s Presence every step of the way, and learn from what He reveals. As God’s people, we should not settle for less than what God gives us. We are equipped in God’s Presence to tackle every task before us. We humble ourselves by allowing God to impart His Wisdom to our abilities. So shall we be separate from the rest, because we don’t go forward apart from Him going with us. We inquire of Him before we take on a project, responsibility or lend ourselves to a leadership role. If we have found grace in His sight, His Presence will go with us and He will give us rest from adversity.
Humility puts the needs of others first by not withholding what will benefit them. Everything we have has been given to us by God. We can trust Him to guide us with our abilities to serve Him and others, as He intends for us. We are not better than others, we are all children of God serving Him for His Glory. When we allow The Spirit of The Lord, The Life of Christ to live through us, we become acceptable to God. We should not boast about ourselves but the transformative work of Christ in us. God reveals His Wisdom to those He chooses and they should not keep it to themselves. When we humble ourselves to depend on God, we can go forward with His Presence in every area of responsibility. Receiving the Lord Jesus is denying glory to anyone else, by living just for Him. We were not created to impress others, but to live each day for God’s Glory. God uses us to do His Will on earth as it is in heaven. We should be ready to serve wherever we are needed. If we humble ourselves, He will be the one who honors us.
15 For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the High and Holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones (Isaiah 57).”
11 You who fear The Lord, trust in The Lord; He is their help and their shield. 12 The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us. He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron. 13 He will bless those who fear The Lord, both small and great (Psalm 115).
What does it mean to be blessed? Is it being healthy? having plenty of money squirreled away for the future? or being able to get what you want at the drop of a hat? That sounds just about right. But we have seen that material wealth doesn’t always come with joy, peace or guarantees. In the midst of uncertainty, family, health, peace and hope can’t be bought with riches. Being blessed is independent of circumstances. It is a sense of calm and contentment because of the good we discover in the midst of adversity. Blessings may come from the favor and generosity of others. We are blessed when we can give to those in need. True blessings are given to those whom God delights in.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5).”
The Lord Jesus described those who are truly blessed in this life: those who will see God, inherit the kingdom of heaven, are called the children of God, the humble who receive mercy, those persecuted for His Name, and those who mourn tragedy and loss. The poor in spirit are those who depend on God for their spiritual well-being. They understand that there’s nothing they can offer God to please Him, but their submission to Him. They hunger and thirst after His Righteousness and are filled by His Spirit. Those who are blessed are blessed in godliness, with eternal rewards. They flourish by becoming more like their God. They yearn for the kingdom of heaven than the things of the world. The blessed children of God are not defiled by the wickedness around them; they strive for purity. They refrain from bitterness and pursue peace with those who are against them. They see God because in many ways they become like Him, even forgiving their offenders. Being blessed is having the likeness of God Character. The blessed will inherit the best—the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who invest in eternity. They are not afraid to suffer persecution for their Lord; so as to gain all that He has for them. They have better promises and rewards for investing their lives in righteousness, peace, purity, mercy, and perseverance.
4 Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple (Psalm 65).
Blessed are those who seek after God. They will feast on the Goodness of God and be satiated with His Presence. Blessed are those who devote their time to come to the house of God—the church or temple. They will not leave hopeless or spiritually emaciated. They will be fed with the dainties of spiritual wisdom and be restored in His Presence. Blessed are those who desire to come to the house of God, to worship and listen to His Word. They will be satisfied with only what God desires for them; more than what the world can offer.
Blessed is everyone who fears The Lord, who walks in His ways. 2 When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. 3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord (Psalm 128).
Those who fear The Lord are intentional about how they live each day. They are determined to walk in God’s Ways in every area of their lives. Therefore, they are blessed in their roles at home and out in the world. God continuously equips them to honor Him. God blesses those who fear Him, so they continue to bless His Name. When they apply God’s Ways to their decisions and lifestyles, they impact the lives of their loved ones. The spouse of the one who fears God becomes supportive and helpful in running the affairs of the home. The children become submissive, obedient and respectful. Those who fear The Lord and walk in His Ways will be blessed in the affairs of life. Submitting to God warrants God to make good on His Promises to bless our households.
29 “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My Commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! (Deuteronomy 5)”
God delights in the heart that fears Him and keep His Commandments. When God Says it, that settles it. Oh that we would have a heart that fears and obeys Him! He would ensure that everything works to our benefit and that of our children, today and forever. It costs as little as obedience to prosper and pass down a successful future for our children. Who can thwart God’s Purpose for us? when we set our sights on fearing Him? It will be well, no matter what the economy looks like, regardless of natural calamities, pandemics or financial uncertainty.
17 “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. 18 For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His Hands make whole (Job 5).”
Do not despise the chastening of God. We would disapprove if our children despised our chastening, by acting out or refusing to acknowledge wrong. A disciplined child should accept correction by taking responsibility for their actions. Parents understand that children are still growing and learning from their mistakes. God understands that we are not perfect as He is. He wounds and lovingly binds up our broken spirit. His Loving Hands make us whole. God’s discipline keeps us on the straight and narrow, so that we are not numbered among the wicked. Better to be disciplined by God than mankind. When people discipline, they often do so out of emotion, frustration and their need to make themselves feel better. They hardly do so for the betterment of the offender. God, however, doesn’t chastise to satisfy Himself, but to edify us, so that we can steer away from wickedness. When He bruises, he heals. He never leaves His people in the doldrums of misery. His Hands make whole again; He doesn’t just address one issue, He completely restores. Blessed are those who are disciplined by God, because they are none the worse for it.
16 “So that he who blesses himself in the earth shall bless himself in The God of Truth. And he who swears in the earth shall swear by The God of Truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hidden from My eyes (Isaiah 65).”
Those who make a living and strive to succeed should do so in The God of Truth; they should be honest in their dealings because God desires truth. Those who make commitments should remember that God will hold them accountable, to do what they say they will do. If we learn anything from God’s discipline, it should be humility and truthfulness. God will forgive us and forget our past sins. We must go forward in His Grace, but do so in God’s Truth. He reveals where we fall short so that we can accept the truth about us. We must accept His Will in order to make amends. We are blessed in Him when we are well-acquainted with The God of Truth. When we learn God’s Ways, we can strive to live up to them. Forget the past, it has been erased before God’s Eyes. Embrace the truth and truly live for the best He has for you.
4 Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. 5 Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order. If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered (Psalm 40).
Those who trust in The Lord don’t look to others as their hope. God has been faithful to them and they can recall what He has done before. Their confidence is in God, Who, they have become familiar with. Blessed are those who remember what God has done. They will rest on His Goodness that never fails. The proud and powerful are not dependable. God has control of everyone’s life, and He does as He pleases. If we make God our only hope, He will become our only source. God will do what brings Him Glory and praise; He leaves an indelible impression, so that we never forget His wonderful works.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him Glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God (Revelations 19)”
Those who are glad in The Lord will rejoice in Him, because He is their full portion. They lack nothing good, when they have surrendered their lives to God. The Body of Christ—the body of believers, who are the Bride of Christ need to ready themselves for the celebration of being united with Him. The marriage of the Lamb and the Bride will usher an unbroken fellowship for eternity. The Bride has to make herself ready, by being clothed in righteousness for the marriage with The Lamb of God. Blessed are those who are ready to meet their Lord. Make ready for the return of The Lamb of God, so that you are found worthy and pleasing before Him.
6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God (2 Corinthians 9).
Give to the needs of others cheerfully and not begrudgingly. Those who give willingly will reap abundantly from God’s Grace. He makes all His Grace, not some, but all to abound to those who give willingly. Those who give generously will have a sufficient supply to continue to give. They will have an abundance from God’s to do every good work. Blessed are those who bless others from the manifold Grace of God’s supply. This is righteousness that endures forever; giving to the needs of the poor.
God, Who supplies those who are cheerful givers, furnishes enough to meet their own needs and those of others. May He multiply our seed sown, so that our fruits of righteousness may increase. While we show compassion, we are enriched in other areas of our lives. We become grateful and content.
Blessings are never out of reach for any of us. We reap what we sow, and invest what we are willing to give. Those who fear and trust in God will not be disappointed. If we keep God’s Ways, we and our children will inherit what God has for us. He is our source of joy, peace and eternal blessings. We must accept what He reveals about us, repent and be renewed in His Righteousness. We are more blessed when we become a conduit of His Grace to others. He will bless us with an abundance of seed to sow, for the benefit of others. As the Bride of Christ, we are preparing for His return, for an eternal union. We are blessed when we are found ready and clothed in righteousness. Our blessedness is eternal and will remain forever. So we live to praise God all the days of our lives.
14 May the Lord give you increase more and more, you and your children. 15 May you be blessed by the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s. But the earth He has given to the children of men. 17 The dead do not praise the Lord, nor any who go down into silence. 18 But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 115)
Loyalty holds relationships together. It is a commitment to be devoted to a loved one at all costs. Loyalty compels one to make a choice that supports the well-being of another. It is a sacrificial act of love and faithfulness to someone we deeply care about. For one to be loyal, they have to put the other’s needs and interests first.
15 And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you. For wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me (Ruth 1).”
Naomi was Ruth’s mother-in-law. She had lost her two sons and her husband in the land of Moab, where they had sought refuge. Naomi’s husband was from the tribe of Judah. They left Israel because there was a famine. While they lived in Moab, her two sons married Ruth and Orpah. After her husband died, her two sons died as well. It was reported that the famine in Israel had ended and she decided to return back to her people. Ruth clung to Naomi, while Orpah decided to stay back in Moab.
Ruth was bound to her mother-in-law by marriage to her husband. She learned about Naomi’s God and her people. Ruth chose to be loyal to the man she loved, by learning his customs and embracing his God. She was loyal to him when he lived and when he died. She forsook the pagan gods of Moab, for The True God of Israel. She even refused to die in Moab. She would only be separated from her mother-in-law by death. Marriage is a commitment to a lifetime of loyalty—”till death do we part.” Like Ruth we should honor our spouse by being one with them and their people. Ruth left her home to make her home with Naomi’s people; because she honored her husband and God. She made her commitment to the God and man she loved, and was not going to look back.
30 Therefore The Lord God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now The Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed (1 Samuel 2).“
Every family is put together by God. He works within the structure of families to create individuals who impact others in the community. We are children of God, who belong to the Household of God. We must conduct ourselves in a manner befitting His honor. If we choose to honor God in our homes, He will honor us. If we despise Him, He will disregard us. We are to teach our children to walk before God in obedience, as we ourselves submit to Him. We are accountable to God how we nurture our children and marriage. In every area pertaining to our households, God should have precedence. When we pray together, pray for each other and seek His Counsel, we involve Him in all our affairs.
14 “Now therefore, fear The Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the river and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve The Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24)”
When we are loyal to someone we promote their interests. We take a stand for someone, a cause or nation and are willing to take risks for them. Loyalty is a willingness to serve another for a cause. There’s value in what we are willing to defend. Fearing and serving God must be a higher priority for us and our families. Put away anything that stands in the way of full devotion to God. Serve The Lord God and no other. If we choose this day to serve God, we will not fail to succeed in other areas and responsibilities. God’s Standards are unmatched, so if we strive to uphold them, we are shooting for excellence. Even if we fall short, we are still a working progress because we are serving Him. Serving God is striving to please God before we please anyone else. At every place we set our feet, we should serve The Lord.
10 So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” 11 And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by The Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge (Ruth 2).”
Ruth had found a farm to glean the leftovers after the workers had harvested, in Israel. She would take what she collected to Naomi for food. Boaz who owned the farm learned about Ruth’s commitment to Naomi. He was a relative of Naomi’s. Boaz asked Ruth to glean only on his farm and eat with the rest of the workers what they were fed, each day she came. Ruth was a foreigner who received favor from Boaz. Ruth’s loyalty to her husband, shown by her kindness to Naomi paid dividends. Ruth was not just loyal, she also put her hope in The God of Israel. She forsook the gods of her people and sought after the God of her mother-in-law. Boaz blessed Ruth and God fully rewarded her according to her faithfulness. Ruth’s late-husband’s land was later redeemed by Boaz, and he married her. Ruth became the grandmother of Jesse, who was David’s father. David was from the tribe of Judah, which is tribe The Messiah, The Lord Jesus, came from. A foreigner loyal to God belongs to the household of God.
We are children of God because we have surrendered our lives to The Son of God. As the Bride of Christ, we have been redeemed by The Blood of The Lamb of God, and are forever betrothed to Him. God will reward us for taking refuge under His Wings, and being loyal to His Son. We are blessed forever, no longer separated by culture or nationality. The Son of The Living God lives forever in those who believe and are committed to live and die for Him. His people are our people and our allegiance is to The One Who gave His Life for us—our Loyal Savior and God. We are in good company with other loyalists.
32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trials of mocking and scourging, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us (Hebrews 11).