"These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth."
How well would we do, being promised something but never seeing the promise? If we were told we were getting something for Christmas but the space under the tree was empty year after year, we'd most likely lose hope after a few disappointments.
Many people throughout scripture died before any of the promises ever came about. They only could believe see them from afar with eyes of faith. Short-sightedness has become a missing ingredient from our faith recipe. In a culture of instant gratification, we tend to only see things or faith for that which happens now.(or at least very quickly)
I haven't found the instant solution for our instant problem, but there is a key in this verse that helps us to better understand how these men and women of old were able to sustain long-term faith. The passage says that they "acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth."
If I can confront my temporal desires with the fact that my eternal satisfaction and fulfillment is not found here on this earth, I'll be better able to faithfully accept the promises from God that I may or may not physically see.
Faith is believing what I can't see; hope is trusting that my faith will come to pass.
Created over 1 year ago