Have no doubt; I promise to bless you over and over, and give you a son and multiply you without measure! Hebrews 6:14 (TPT)
To Bless You Over and Over – The Promise Series – Part 1
The writer of Hebrews told this little story:
“Now when God made a promise to Abraham since there was no one greater than himself, he swore an oath on his own integrity to keep the promise as sure as God exists! So he said,
“Have no doubt; I promise to bless you over and over, and give you a son and multiply you without measure!”
So Abraham waited patiently in faith and succeeded in seeing the promise fulfilled. (skip a few lines…)
And now we have run into his heart to hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength and comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time—an unshakeable hope! We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold, and where Jesus, our forerunner, has gone in before us. He is now and forever our royal Priest like Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:13-20 TPT.)
Some beautiful words about faith, some adventurous words about God, and a reference to a crazy priest we don’t know much about named Melchizedek.
This passage in Hebrews is famous for its essence of hope. When we feel we’ve been promised something, we can do what Abraham and Sarah did: cling to hope. God is faithful and will do what he said he will do. Just like he did for them.
Well… the writer of Hebrews also said this:
“Yet it was faith that enabled others to endure great atrocities. They were stretched out on the wheel and tortured, and didn’t deny their faith in order to be freed, because they longed for a more honorable and glorious resurrection!
Others were mocked and experienced the most severe beating with whips; they were in chains and imprisoned. Some of these faith champions were brutally killed by stoning, being sawn in two or slaughtered by the sword. These lived in faith as they went about wearing goatskins and sheepskins for clothing. They lost everything they possessed, they endured great afflictions, and they were cruelly mistreated. They wandered the earth living in the desert wilderness, in caves, on barren mountains and in holes in the earth. Truly, the world was not even worthy of them, not realizing who they were. These were the true heroes, commended for their faith, yet they lived in hope without receiving the fullness of what was promised them.” (Hebrews 11:35-39 TPT.)
So, Abraham was worthy of receiving his promise, but others weren’t? Are the promises of God a big evangelical “Yes and Amen?”
How do we make sure we end up like Abraham, and not those who “lived in hope without receiving the fullness of what was promised them.” Because I don’t care how holy you think you are, or I want to be, I honestly don’t desire to go through the amount of suffering it takes to be someone “the world was not worthy of.”
No thanks. Fulfill all the promises, amen!
Abraham was promised children, and he got them…. But not without suffering.
And not without discovering the promise beneath the promise. The one that anchored him to hope. Which is (bizarre as it sounds) “fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm beyond the sacred threshold” (more on that soon). And can anchor us, too (promises fulfilled or not), connect us to the promise beneath all the promises. The one that has more to do with who we are, and who we are connected to, than any physical promise of things or people or prosperity or circumstance.
Hope sinks deep, beyond the yes and amen, to a place I don’t think we can fully articulate. All the books of the Bible – both canonized and not – take all their stories and time and words to paint the narrative of a deeper truth and promise we are still discovering: God with us.
Because I think what we all want to know from the Divine is this:
Are you with me? Promise?