Recently, on my second time listening to an audio version of the New Testament this year, I arrived at the 11th chapter of Hebrews. This chapter is often thought of as the Hall of Fame of the faithful of God. My Bible titles the chapter “The Triumphs of Faith.”
But it was verses 39-40 that jumped out at me as I listened:
“And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:39–40, NASB95)
I immediately thought of a promise I received from God about two decades ago. I recalled the hopes and disappointments associated with it in the years that followed.
“And all these … did not receive what was promised.”
Why? Why didn’t all of the faithful in chapter 11 receive what was promised?
“Because God had provided something better for us.”
I decided to dig a little deeper. Here’s what I found in my study notes:
11:39 Not all the heroes of faith experienced immediate triumph over their circumstances, but all were blessed by God.
While I don’t begin to think of myself as a “hero” of the faith, I am a child of God who hasn’t always triumphed over my circumstances. Still, I have been immeasurably blessed by God, just like those heroes of chapter 11.
11:40 God provided something better. The fulfillment for them (the heroes of the faith), as for me, is in Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise. It isn’t what I envision as the fulfillment. I see in part. He sees in whole. I pray and I trust, but in the end, Jesus Himself is the fulfillment of His promises. Of all His promises.