9 And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise.
10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
Hebrews 11:9-10 (NLT)
Welcome to the ninth installment of my study on faith from Hebrews 11. The main difference you will see here is that I cover 2 verses together which is different from my previous installments which I cover one verse per installment. Why is that so? The reason is Verse 9 and 10 come together.
In the previous installment, we see the faith of Abraham. Here, we shall see what happened when he reached the land that God has promised him. It is important for us to note that when Abraham reached the land of Canaan, which God said is his, Abraham did not have formal ownership of the land. Formal ownership was established only when the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua took over the land after they left Egypt.
So, technically Abraham was only settling there. In today’s term, Abraham migrated to the land of Canaan. He did not own it. Not only that he did not even have a permanent house. He lived in tents. In fact his whole family up to his grandson Jacob lived in tents. Does that mean God failed to fulfill his promise? Well, at least Abraham did not think so. He still had faith. Verse 10 tells us that Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
In other words, Abraham did not allow the negative situation around him to discourage him and cause him to think negative. He chose to focus his attention to the glorious future God has promised him. He was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
Could this be what God wants us to do when we are faced with negative circumstances around us? You may have trusted God for a fully paid house but you are still living in a rented apartment. You may have trusted God for car but you are still taking public transport. You may have trusted God for healing of the disease you are suffering but you can still suffering from the pain. You may have trusted God for your prosperity but you are still poor.
The devil will use the negative circumstances around you to discourage you into giving up. Even religious people will use them to destroy your faith. What are you going to do? Are you going to yield to them? Are you going to let them win and stop trusting God? If you do that, I can tell you for sure that your negative circumstances will not change. The only thing that will happen is you will become bitter because you feel cheated to have believed in a hope that fails to come true.
I suspect this is what happened to christians who left Word Of Faith Churches. At first they heard the Gospel and received it gladly. However they have no depth. They were not committed to work on their faith and fight on despite the circumstances. After a few setbacks, they gave up and told others that “this faith stuff doesn’t work.”
The religious groups will recruit them and used them to discredit the Gospel Of Jesus Christ. You can see many of their testimonies in the religious websites. If you read their writings, you will sense their bitterness and they have absolutely no idea what Word Of Faith is all about. All they do now is nothing more that spreading lies that says we don’t pray, we worship money, we don’t glorify God, we are Mormons and the lists keep growing depending on their creativity.
Are they better off now? No, they are bitter. There is a price to pay for giving up your faith.
Instead God wants us to be like Abraham. He wants us to keep focusing on his promise even if we cannot see them in the natural. As long as we keep our focus on him and not the circumstances around us, we will be able to live life confidently. Our faith will not be affected. The religious people may laugh at us and mock us in hope that we give up our faith and join them in their bondage but as long as our focus is on God, we will have the last laugh.
Did God fulfil his promises to Abraham? He did. In the book of Joshua, God led the Israelites to take over their land. Today, Abraham is not only the natural ancestor of the Jews, he is also the spiritual ancestor of christians in every nation. He has become the father of many nations.
In conclusion, God will fulfil all the promises he made for us. If you are sick, God will make you well. If you are poor, God will make you rich. If you feel like a failure, God will lead you to success. All we need to do is to believe in him. Our faith is the key for all these promises to come true.