Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted, and mistreated—the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
The World Was Not Worthy of Them
The United States honors military veterans of the Armed Forces. People recognize the sacrifices and hardships veterans and their families undergo and thank them for their service.
The Bible encourages us to honor Christians who suffered hardships and served without recognition or distinction. There have been many in history, and there are, in fact, many of them around the world right now. If you live in a country that practices freedom of religion, you may not realize it, but there are Christians in many countries who face jeers, beatings, and even imprisonment.
Why doesn’t God prevent all persecution? He is planning something better. Together with us, those persecuted saints will be made perfect in heaven. We and they will receive the declaration that we have the perfection of Jesus through faith in him.
Those who have died already shine in that glory of God. We who remain on the earth struggle. But when you struggle, face opposition, and perhaps even persecution for following Jesus, remember the glory God has in store for you one day!
Heavenly Father, thwart the plans of your enemies so that your people may sing your praises unhindered through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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