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Hebrews 11:24-40
We all love the victorious stories in the “Hall of Faith” of Hebrews 11 — enemies are defeated, people are rescued, lions’ mouths are shut, and the dead are raised.  But what about those who pleased God with their faith yet suffered and died?  The last entries in this chapter convey a spiritual reality many people today are reluctant to embrace—that faith is not a means by which we get God to do what we want.  

We who belong to Jesus Christ have God’s promise that He will heal all our diseases, rescue us from every trouble, and give us great riches—not now, but in eternity.  The Lord said, however, that in the meantime we can expect tribulation, persecution, and suffering (John 15:18-21).  So it’s important to remember that faith doesn’t rescue us from all this but will get us through it.  
God wants us to remain steadfast in the face of affliction and temptation.  Like Moses, we may be called on to endure “as seeing Him who is unseen” (Hebrew 11:27).  So let’s place our hope in God and hold fast to Him in faith through good times and bad.

Thoughts from Hebrews 11:24-40
These verses summarize the lives of great men and women of faith.  Some experienced outstanding victories, even over the threat of death.  But others were severely mistreated, tortured, and even killed.  Having a steadfast faith in God does not guarantee a happy, carefree life.  On the contrary, our faith almost guarantees us some form of abuse from the world.  While we are on earth, we may never see the purpose of our suffering.  But we know that God will keep his promises to us.  Many think that pain is the exception in the Christian life.  When suffering occurs, we say, “Why me?”  We feel as though God deserted us, or perhaps we accuse him of not being as dependable as we thought.  In reality, however, we live in an evil world filled with suffering, even for believers.  But God is still in control.  Our faith and the values of this world are on a collision course.  If we expect pain and suffering to come, we will not be shocked when it hits.  Jesus understands our fears, our weaknesses, and our disappointments.  Jesus also suffered.  In times of pain, persecution, or suffering we should trust confidently in Christ.  As Christians we need love and support from each other.  Jesus offers hope.  The Holy Spirit gives strength to endure the unreasonable hatred and evil in our world.  

Key thoughts:
Trust confidently in Christ.  Love and support each other.

Blessings from the Youth Committee
References:  God’s Word NIV and In Touch Ministries