9th November 2013

Walking in the Footsteps of Giants 

“Now faith is a well grounded assurance of that for which we hope and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see. For by it the saints of old won God’s approval.”
Hebrews 11:1-2 (Weymouth)

Our journey in the Christian life isn’t easy at times.  There are rivers to ford, deserts to cross and mountains to climb but we journey onwards in the deep understanding that our success, and the ability to conquer these obstacles isn’t within ourselves but in Jesus Christ. We remember all the heroes of faith recorded in Hebrews chapter 11; who all walked in a covenant relationship with God, but suffered stonings, mockings, torture, violence and death (Verses36-38). The Apostle Paul who also walked closely with God suffered shipwreck, stoning, robbery, jail and persecution (2 Corinthians 11:24 -28). 

Had God abandoned all those giants of faith in past history?  Had he gone far off from Paul, the one who had laboured faithfully and suffered greatly in his ministry?  Notice what Paul tells Timothy; “And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News. And that is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return. (2 Timothy 1:11-12 NLT). Does this sound like Paul felt abandoned, because of the physical hardships that he had to endure? Of course not—this great man was another giant of faith! 

These trials of our faith go with the territory—Peter shines a spotlight on them in 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT); “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.  These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honour on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” Listen to Paul here in his second letter to Corinth; “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.  We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4: 8-9 NLT italics mine)

For all times and conditions, faith in the God of deliverance is the secret of triumph in the Christian life. Towards the end of his life Paul wrote, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NLT).

Indeed, as God’s people today, we do walk in the footsteps of giants! 

Great Father, thank you so much for all the heroes and heroines of faith whose lives are recorded in your word and their special example for us.

Study by  Cliff Neill


cliffneillAbout the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton.

Local  Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill

Meeting time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Harry Sullivan
Phone:  01908-582222
Email: harry_sullivan@wcg.org.uk

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