Hebrews 11 is a passage that many of us are familiar with. It has often been dubbed the “Hall of Faith”, as we read account after account of followers of Jesus walking by faith and not by sight. Some, like Noah, Abraham, and Moses are well known, while many are nameless. Yet the sacrifices they made by faith (which is a gift of God!) exemplify I Corinthians 15:58, “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” They lived out the words of Jesus in Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” They are truly a great cloud of witnesses that have testified that the Lord is their chosen portion.
As I read through this chapter, there was a word I noticed that described several of those known and praised for their faith in Christ. It’s the word “considered”.
- Sarah considered the faithfulness of God, who promised her a son and she received power to conceive (vs. 11)
- Abraham considered that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead, enabling him to obey when God asked him to kill Isaac (vs. 19)
- Moses considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, as he looked forward to the reward that could only come from God (vs. 26)
And then in Hebrews 12:3 the writer encourages his readers to consider:
“Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”
Consider: to think carefully about (something), typically before making a decision; to think about and be drawn toward (a course of action).Oxford Languages
In considering, I have to think. I actually have to stop what I am doing and find a quiet spot (even if it’s only in my own mind) to contemplate the situation, person, or opportunity at hand. It’s not just random, quick thoughts…they must be careful thoughts, thoughts with a goal in mind.
For the believer, the start of our consideration must always begin with our eyes off of self and fixed on Christ and His Word. To biblically consider, we must look at the character of our great God and must give focused thought to who He is in light of our situation. When we do that, our consideration gives way to confidence; not confidence in ourselves but confidence in Christ, the one who “loved us and gave Himself for us”.
Living in this true reality, we are fixing our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, and we gain an eternal perspective that infuses our thoughts, words and deeds with the fruit of the Spirit. Our circumstances may not grow easier, the difficult person may not disappear…but our hearts are at rest and we are steadfast in the promises of God and in His ability to accomplish all that is good in our lives. In this He is glorified and His name is exalted in our corner of the world and beyond, just as it was in the days of Abraham, Sarah and Moses.
It starts with knowing where truth is found. It flows out of an understanding of the sovereign goodness of God. It requires a humble spirit of dependence. The result is a heart that is quick to consider and confidently draws near to the Throne of Grace to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need!
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18