“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on earth.”
I’m thinking of Christmas. There’s a mysterious present under the tree with your name on it. You’re dying to know what is inside the wrapping. Finally, you can’t stand it anymore, and when no one is around, you carefully open the gift and look at it. Oh, wonderful. It’s something you’ve wanted for a long time. How you wish you could open it up and put it to use. Right now. Christmas is so far away that you don’t think you can wait. As those in this verse, you saw the gift you’re going to receive, but you don’t have it yet. It’s wrapped in paper under the tree. But, you’ve seen it.
So the men and women in the hall of faith know about the promise of life to come, a city with foundations, but they don’t have possession of it. They saw it through the eyes of faith, and they saw it as real as it can possibly be, but they were not able to possess it. Their lives ended before the promise could be realized, but it was as real to them as if they had. This is how faith works. It is seeing what can’t be seen but is there just the same. It is knowing you have something before you possess it in reality. It is that real.
Task for Today: Are you willing to live by faith without receiving in this life what you know is promised? You can have that kind of faith. Trust God in the little things today, and as your faith grows, you will come to know that what you don’t see is as real as what you do see.