Be Inspired by the Faith of Others
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;
blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
When dealing with a season of doubt, I am always encouraged and inspired by the faith exhibited by others -especially those who believed and had not seen.
First consider the famous “Hall of Faith” listed in Chapter 11 of Hebrews. The list includes such “Greats” as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses. All who exhibited great faith in the midst of much tribulation and what is even more amazing to me is that …
All these people were still living by faith when they died.
They did not receive the things promised;
they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance,
Then there is Stephen, “… a man full of God’s grace and power …” (ACTS 6:8) who as he was about to be stoned he …
… looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God,
and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
“Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God.”
Wow! To have that kind of faith, strength and trust while facing imminent death- I truly cannot fathom!
But nothing inspires my faith more than when I have the privilege to witness the faith of the people we meet through our ministry, Endurance. Our ministry is to bring comfort, encouragement and hope to all we meet but inevitably we are the ones who end up encouraged the most. One such person who has blessed us is Mary Schiltz.
Mary lost her battle with ovarian cancer this past weekend. I have followed Mary’s journey ever since she walked through our ministry door over two years ago when she was inquiring about encouraging resources for others in her church who were battling cancer. Mary was one of the most awesome people I have ever met. She has been an inspiration to me and to so many others just by the way she lived her life and fought to beat her cancer. Her love for the Lord, her family, friends and church family was something to behold.
This past summer, when she felt she might not beat her cancer she asked me “Jan, how do I do this? I don’t know how.” I did not know how to answer her but I can honestly tell you for someone who did not know how to walk through her final days on this earth, Mary did it with grace, love, humor and great faith.
Like the “Greats” listed in the “Hall of Faith” Mary did not receive her promise for healing on this side of eternity but like the “Greats” and Stephen, Mary’s eyes were fixed on the eternal and her faith has brought her into the eternal presence of her Heavenly Father.
Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:16-18
On the journey with you,