Hebrews 12 begins with the word “Therefore.” “Therefore” in Hebrews 12:1 points us back to the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11. This great cloud of witnesses offers us profound encouragement in our run of faith. It’s the stories of Noah’s ark, Jacob’s wrestling with God, Moses’s leading his people to freedom, and Gideon’s little army.
These were all witnesses of God’s power and goodness to His people in the unlikeliest of scenarios. They were all pressed to their limits, hit the wall of desperation, and had to fight the temptation to give up. And as a result, they experienced God’s deliverance in amazing ways.
Let’s start by looking at the witness of Abraham: Keep believing.
Hebrews 11 records this about Abraham and Sarah:
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. (Hebrews 11:8–9)
Imagine what it would be like to follow God your whole life, get married, do well in your work, and reach old age. Imagine you’re seventy-five years old, and you’ve lived in the same place since birth.
And now imagine God appearing to you and saying this:
“Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1–3)
And one more thing: You don’t have any children. How exactly are your offspring going to be a great nation?
Despite these great odds stacked against them—unable to conceive, seventy-five years old and sixty-five years old, with no idea of where God was leading—Abraham and Sarah showed no signs of a lack of faith. Maybe they were confused and thought God spoke to the wrong people. Perhaps Sarah questioned whether the Lord had indeed spoken to Abraham at all.
Looking through their own eyes, they could not see where they were going—much less why they were going. But looking through the eyes of faith, they could see that God was leading them, and that was enough for them.
You are not too young or too old. You are not too broken for God to use. You are not worthless or beyond hope. Abraham and Sarah call out to you today, “Keep believing! Don’t give up!”