“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13
Every good book has a happy ending, in my opinion. I rarely ever waste my time reading a book that does not end well. With fiction books and stories, I usually skip to the final page to find out how it ends. I want to know if there is a good end in store. I want to know if it is really worth all the time and effort.
I want to know if it has a tragic ending. If it does, then I would rather not let it play in my mind. I am far too familiar with the tragedies in this world to waste my time on a book that ends in chaos, horror or turmoil. If people die, if the hero dies, if the ending is sad, I would rather not read it. What is the point of reading a story with a bad ending?
My faith in God is similar to how I approach reading a book. I need to know how this journey of faith, this life in God is going to end. Is it worth my time to keep trusting, keep believing, keep having faith in God, or am I just wasting my time?
The problem is, I have no idea what sort of ending my life here on earth will have. There is no skipping the pages to find out how this story of my life, or your life, will end.
I know that many stories of faith appear to end in tragedy. There have been far too many martyred to count or name. Looking at history is not even necessary to know this. There are people today, this very day, who die for and in their faith. There are people today who die believing a promise that appears to never have been fulfilled. So, is it worth it?
Is it worth the time and effort to keep having faith, to keep trusting, and to keep believing God? If my life may simply end in tragedy, is it really worth it? Is it really worth living out this faith story if it does not have a happily ever after ending?
For the hero’s of the Christian faith listed in Hebrews 11, faith was worth the effort. They saw a promise beyond the story of their own lives. They saw the story of their lives not as a complete book with a beginning and end, but a page in a much larger story that God was writing for all of us. They had a hope, a faith for things beyond what the eye could see, beyond what the mind could comprehend, and beyond what death declares as final.
They may not have received all the promises of God while they walked the earth, but they believed that their story, this story, would have a happy ending. They believed that their faith would not be put to shame. They believed, they hoped, they had faith in a promise beyond their last breath. In that same way, you and I have hope beyond our last breath. The author and finisher of our life stories, God, has a happy ending for us to. For those who have faith, have hope…even when they cannot see it.