Sometimes, I wonder what we think we’re supposed to “get” out of faith. Clearly, we “ask in faith” for many things — for healing and guidance, for peace and security. And God is good! Quite often, we receive the blessings for which we’ve prayed (and so much more), even though we don’t deserve them. But are we prepared to ask in faith for blessings which the world might deem to be curses, but which — in the long run — turn out to be the most important gifts of all?
In today’s New Testament lesson (Hebrews 11:23-31), we continue to make our way through the “Faith Chapter” in Hebrews, and our attention turns to Moses, who passed up the easy life he could have had in order to embrace a path, which — while difficult — led ultimately to blessing.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. (verses 24-26)
I like to think of myself as a person of faith; and to be sure, I do trust God…at least in some ways and at some times. But do I have the kind of faith that enables me to embrace hardship over the short-term because my real desire is focused on what God wants to do in me and in the world over the long term? A faith that refuses to take advantage of any status, position, or privilege that might be available to me so that I can be counted among the least? A faith that chooses mistreatment rather than the pleasures that come from compromise? A faith that regards disgrace for Christ’s sake as more to be desired than any fame that comes my way for achievements of my own?
Many years after Moses was gone, the Apostle Paul would write: “Whatever were gains to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:7-8).
Today, may our short and limited view be enlarged by the longer and grander view of His glory and His purpose. And may we rest securely in the promise that when we live in faith: “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).