“Then he said to the man, ‘Hold out your hand.’ So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one!” (Matthew 12:13, NLT)
Oswald Chambers reminds us: “God does not give us overcoming life — He gives us life as we overcome.”
The first task in our partnership with God is obedience. Too often, we say to God, “Show me, and I will go,” when God is saying to us, “Go, and I will show you.” To do the latter is to live by faith in God. To do the former is to live by common sight and human insight alone.
Today’s scripture illustrates for us the way in which our heavenly Father works — which is the same as it was centuries before in the call of the “father of the faithful” — Abraham (who was previously named Abram): “The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.'” (Genesis 12:1)
It each case — including our own in our day — the great work of God begins with our personal commitment through obedience. Stretch out your hand. The overcoming power of God has never been nearer! – Luther
“Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11:35, NIV)
Every follower of Jesus should read the entirety of chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews to grasp the fact that current-day faithfulness does not guarantee current-day success.
While it is true that God blesses His faithful ones, we err when we begin to think that these “rewards” all come in this life; or at times when we think we would derive the most benefit from them. Some rewards — like some punishments, for reasons known only to God — are reserved for life after life.
To be a true person of faith requires that we continue to believe (and act in accordance with that belief) although we have yet to receive that for which we hope. It is not always an easy day.
However, as the writer of Hebrews assures us in verse 1: This is what the ancients were commended for by God. – Luther