Realize This Could Always Go Either Way

Believers. expect that the life of faith to be a blessed one. And it is. But we often have a very physical expectation of what they life will be. 

Heb. 11:33-35“who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions,
34  quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
35  Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection”

Faith! Victory! Conquering! Vanquishing! Whoo Hoo for the life of faith!  But…

Heb. 11:36-28“and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment.
37  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated
38  (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.”

This were as faithful, but had trials, suffering, mocking, scourging, chains. These are just as possible for the faithful. Both lists were marks of the faithful. Both share the same reward in heaven and the approval of God. Don’t confuse the physical blessings with approval, or suffering like Christ as disapproval. Realize that either life is possible. “The LORD gives, the LORD takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job. 1:21)