- Hebrews 11
- 1 Peter 5
In his Biblical Manhood series, Robert Lewis describes these 4 characteristics of a Godly man. A Godly man is one who:
- Rejects passivity
- Accepts responsibility
- Leads courageously
- Expects a greater reward
As I read Hebrews 11 this morning, what stood out to me was that these guys lived for the greater reward! That’s what living by faith is all about. My coworker quoted someone the other day talking about maturity. He said, “Maturity is delayed gratification.” A quick Google search brought this definition: “Delayed gratification involves having the willpower to delay the impulse for an immediate reward in favor of a larger reward at a later time. … Delayed gratification also allows for mature people to set long term goals that they can consistently work on whilst avoiding distractions or giving up prematurely.”
Here’s a couple statements that we read in Hebrews 11.
- Heb 11:1 faith shows the reality of what we hope for, it is the evidence of things we cannot see.
- Heb 11:16 But they (the hall of faith) were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland.
- Heb 11:27 By faith Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.
- Heb 11:35 Others were tortured, refusing to turn from God to be set free. they placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.
That’s what faith is. Living for what we cannot see. Living for the better, the greater reward, the delayed reward. Living with the confidence that what God has promised is far better, and worth the wait and the pain we experience here. That’s exactly what Peter writes about in 1 Peter 5:8-12.
Our enemy knows that thing that will control our hearts is what we treasure. (Matt 6:21) Therefore, if he can get us to believe the lie that there is value in the rewards of this life, it will affect us as if it’s true… and the temporal treasures of this life will control our heart. Peter says, “Stay alert! Your enemy is prowling around looking for someone to devour.” He is prowling around looking for someone he can get to believe his lie.
Stand firm against him, and be strong IN FAITH. It’s interesting what he says next. How are we going to stand strong in faith? (1 Peter 5:10) “So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” Living for the greater reward. Willing to give up the ease and comfort of this world. Choosing to live for the eternal, and not the temporal, with the confidence that the result is that God will support you, strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation… standing strong in faith!
I love Peter’s closing comments. 1 Peter 5:12 “I have written and sent this short letter to you to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace!” It’s like Peter is saying, “Oh, by the way, this is all part of God’s grace. The suffering, the hardship, the loss of earthly pleasure and reward… it’s all good for you.. it’s God’s grace for you. I want to encourage you with that thought! So, stand strong.
- That you will continue living for the greater reward
- That you will stand strong in faith, confident in God’s grace that he is giving you… even when that grace makes things difficult.
- Be encouraged, God is for you!
- Stay alert! Don’t believe the enemies lies. Combat his lies with truth.