Since you have decided to maintain your lifestyle of faith, I would suggest that it would behoove you not to have unbiblical expectations. Remember when Jesus sent out his disciples – he clearly set before them expectations, that some people would reject them, and that they should not be surprised by that. It seems important that because you recommitted to this radical life of trusting in Jesus and continuing to persevere where you are at that you resist the tendency to think that God will reward you in specific ways that He does not promise.
Remember John the Baptist? He sent guys to Jesus to ask, “Are you the one or should we look for someone else?” Jesus responded and told John not to be offended. Which means that John the Baptist had unbiblical expectations and was consequently offended. If you do not set out on this re commitment to serve God with Biblical expectations, it is possible you might be disappointed.
Be encouraged Cameron. In Hebrews 11, the Author spends a great deal of time repeating the phrase, ‘By faith,’ and what he is referring to is a lifestyle. He speaks of the different men and women who lived a lifestyle of faith. It describes that lifestyle in the context of enduring. He tells them they have need of confidence before pouring over all of these individuals who maintained a lifestyle without a safety net – they only had a plan A, there was no contingency plan, they burnt the bridges behind them, they weren’t turning back. We have spoken of this before, so we wont have to go into detail but your question about why the entire book seems to have nothing to do with chapter 11 is observant. You remember that the book is about Grace, about Christ’s propitiation for us, and that there is nothing we can add to it. We are forgiven for our sins. Well, what Hebrews 11 seems to get at is that without the confidence that comes from the first ten chapters you will not be able to sustain a lifestyle of faith. The author describes this lifestyle as
- Coming out of a right relationship with God
- Saving us from death and Judgement
- Believing God is what He says
- Looking for comfort and fulfillment in Heaven not on earth
- Bearing fruit
- Securing you a destiny and a blessed future
- Making huge sacrifices
- Blessing others around you
- Organizes not around fear but the salvation of others
- Enduring incredible things
- Perfection and sinlessness aren’t prerequisites
After using the example of Jesus to point out that He was not punished for His sins but for ours – the author VERY clearly arrives at what seems to be His greatest point. We will never be able to live a sustainable lifestyle of faith if we think that all the difficulties that we are encountering are God punishing us for our sin. After all, the first 10 chapters are counselling a community that is struggling with moving into legalism while adopting the wrong idea that God is punishing them for their sins through difficulties and suffering. God punished Jesus for our sins, so there isnt sin that He is punishing us for. We are going to experience challenges, but we must always remember God is for us. God has such an amazing plan ahead for you. Abandon yourself to trust that He has taken responsibility for your sins.
We are all so proud of you.