“By their faith…the elders obtained a good report” (Hebrews 11:2).
The Greek word for “obtained” here means “to bear witness, to become a testimony.” Our ancestors in the Lord had a settled, unwavering, anchored faith and it became a testimony to God’s faithfulness in troubled times.
First, they had a witness within that God was pleased with them. They had trusted him through floods, mockery, bonds, imprisonment, torture, warfare, lions’ dens, fire. And after it all, they knew the joy of the Lord smiling at them and saying, “Well done! You believed and trusted me.”
“Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Whenever we hold our faith position through hard times, we have the same affirmation from the Holy Spirit: “Well done. You are God’s testimony.”
When I can rest through storms, when I have cast every burden on Christ and I hold my faith position, then I have obtained a “good report.” I am becoming a beacon of hope to those around me. Those who watch my life at home, at work and on my block may not respond openly. But they will know there is hope and redemption available to them. They can look at me in my hour of crisis and say, “There is hope! There stands someone who has not lost faith in God. There is a fighter who will not quit. He trusts his God!”
As calamities increase, and the world falls into great distress, the believer’s response must be a testimony of unwavering faith. We have the Holy Spirit abiding in us, and we have the Bible, the fully revealed Word of God. We cannot boast in our own flesh, but we can lean on His Word.
Over the years, I have gone out fully armed, determining, “I will set my heart and I will not fear. I will not listen to the doubts and fears of my flesh. I won’t waver and I won’t turn back. I will not pout, fret or wallow in self-pity.” Yet, often unbelief robbed me of victory.
I still have so much to learn about “setting my faith.” But I have tasted the victory that comes when I trust the Lord in all things, when I purposefully lay all my burdens on Christ and go my way at rest.