posted Sep 19, 2011, 8:10 AM by Dale Barnes
“If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one. (Heb.11:15-16 NIV)

The writer is challenging us with the vision of these early patriarchs who walked with God by faith.  The promises of some place better had been given to them, and they saw these promises clearly and welcomed them. They realized they were given by God himself.  So they realized they were sojourners on the earth. Something better and lasting was being offered to them.  Hope is such a dynamic and challenging part of the Christian life.  If it is maintained, it can keep our faith active, it keeps us looking and moving forward in God’s plan..

It was such a powerful experience when the Israelites came out of Egypt.  A pillar of cloud and fire led them by day and night.  The red sea rolled back so they could pass through and then out of Egypt.  Yet, it was not long before they were wishing that they had never left that land of bondage.  The difficulties of the desert and the food they were given grew tiresome, and they began complaining.  They completely forgot the promise of a “land flowing with milk and honey.” Their hope had vanished.

Even though we made a good start with Christ; how easy it is to get disappointed or discouraged by the circumstances that surround us.  It creeps in almost unawares. The cares, disappointments, difficulties of life can dim our hope of better things to come.  The desires for temporal things can certainly “sidetrack” us from the better things God offers. We are not looking forward any longer.  

What can we do?  Let’s return to God in humility and ask him to stir afresh the vision of the eternal that is surely promised by the eternal one.  Let’s return to the scriptures and ask God to quicken them again to our hearts.  The Holy Spirit is the faithful one who “reminds” us.  How wonderful it is to be encouraged and refreshed in God’s purpose.  We can look forward again, and move in fresh obedience and excitement.