Friday, October 27, 2023

But If Not

 By: Lauren Thomas 

In moments when we feel our faith is weak, we do well to remind ourselves of those who have gone before us. In Hebrews 11 we read about the “cloud of witnesses” and are encouraged in the next chapter to run with endurance.  

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (EVS)


The writer of Hebrews knew the power of inspiring stories when he (or she?) penned the 11th chapter. One of these inspiriting stories is only just mentioned. It’s found in Daniel 3.


You likely know the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and the fiery furnace. But let me remind you of the powerful declaration of faith found there:


17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.[d] 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Daniel 3:17-18 (ESV)


As the story goes, Jesus did deliver them. 


But what faith to declare “but if not we will still remain faithful to our God alone!”


After the list in Hebrews of inspiring stories of faith, we find this phrase: “Therefore…looking to Jesus.”


In the fiery furnace, the three Hebrew men were seen with a fourth man, Jesus. But the reality is, they were looking at Jesus all along. Looking at Jesus is what got them to, and through, the furnace. 


Don’t give up, sister. Just look to Jesus.



What story of faith in the Bible most inspires you?
Today, how can you look to Jesus and strengthen your faith?




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