We’ve talked about death and new life. What about everything in between? All the life and all the struggle.
According to scripture the struggles in life are not worth comparing to the glory of heaven. (Romans 8:18). That is so much easier said than done. When we are living in the grind and the guts of life it can be hard to remember the glory that we will one day bask in.
The great cloud of witnesses saw it all. Life, Death, and the Struggle of life. They experienced the new life because of the founder and perfecter of their and our faith, Jesus. More importantly, Jesus, the person we are supposed to look lived in and with the struggle. He lived this life and the struggle, experienced death, and rose from the dead.
Jacob, Joseph, and Moses were no stranger to the struggle either.
Jacob struggled with the people around him his whole life. He struggled with his brother in the womb, and throughout life. He struggled with his father in law for the wife he loved. He even struggled and wrestled with God, in the form of a man. He struggled with God and prevailed.
Joseph’s life was like a roller coaster and filled with struggles. He was the son who received gifts from his father. In their jealousy his brothers threw him in a pit. He spent time as a slave. He was wrongly accused and was a prisoner. The struggle was real for Joseph and not in the way us in our first world problems may proclaim ‘the struggle is real’. Joseph struggled his whole life, yet God worked all of those struggles, caused by other people, to work in the favor of Joseph. He eventually oversaw the food for the entire area during the famine. Because he oversaw the food during the famine the family line of Jesus was preserved. God used Joseph to ensure Jesus would come about from this family line as he had promised.
Moses struggled with the Israelite’s and he struggled with his own desires. He also did a lot of wandering. Disobedience in the wandering resulted in Moses not entering the promised land with the community. However, God in His grace showed Moses the land before his death and at the transfiguration of Jesus Moses was at His side. (Matthew 17:1-3). His disobedience kept him from entering in the promised land yet the author and perfecter of His faith preserved him and brought him into His presence.
As we take a deeper look into the lives of these people we will see where it was not them who preserved the faith of those who have gone before us. Joseph could not have done what he did apart from God. Moses made poor decisions and there were consequences, yet he was preserved. Jacob did not win because he was so great and mighty. Jacob won because of who God is.
God is for us. He is for us in the struggle even when we are pitted against Him. He is for us when others are against us. He is for us when we are wandering, lost, and doing our own thing.
In the lives of these people we look to Jesus who founded and perfected their faith and we can have hope knowing he is the same one who founded and is perfecting our faith this advent season and every day of our lives.