I have heard many speak badly of doctors whose conferences take them to places like these; things like, “I wish I could count my vacation as a business deduction.” Have you ever seen one of the programs for these conferences? Yes, there are sightseeing tours arranged for the doctors (which they pay for), but they are sandwiched in between seminars, lectures, demonstrations, and panel discussions that you and I could never make heads nor tails of because we did not sign what amounted to a mortgage in order to attend years of medical school, nor have to pay an annual six figure malpractice insurance premium to protect ourselves from those who think doctors should be perfect.
For any who complain about their travels, I hope you never need to rely on two doctors who live a thousand miles apart having met one another by chance several thousands of miles away from their homes in order to save your sight, or worse, your life. Let them sightsee a little. It’s worth it, if not to you, then to some poor soul somewhere.
That was extra. Here is my point this morning. I will never see those places, except in pictures. Abraham did not even have pictures as evidence when he left his home at God’s command. He had no deed in his hand when he believed God would give him the land of Canaan, nor did Isaac and Jacob, or their wives. But we are told, These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, Heb 11:13. Amazing faith, we think. There was nothing that even hinted to them that they would inherit that land. At times they were run off it, even threatened if they stayed, but they still believed God would keep his promise.
That’s what we do today, isn’t it? Some might think we have it even harder. At least the three patriarchs eventually stood on actual land--dirt and grass and watering holes, with trees growing and animals wandering about. We must believe in something we can’t see or touch. Oh, really. Do you think they didn’t believe in that place too? …and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on this earth…they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one, wherefore God is not ashamed…to be called their God, but he has prepared for them a city, Heb 11:13,16.
Their faith went beyond the physical, just as ours should. It may be a tall order, but look at all those who have gone before us and managed it. Why is it we treat the faith requirement as some sort of burden? “Don’t lose faith,” we say when someone has a problem, creating yet another problem for them. Faith should be an asset. It causes hope, and how many people have lived longer lives because a doctor gave them a little thing called hope?
The hope we have is for something even better. Unlike all those amazing places my eyes have been but I have never seen, this is one I will see, the most amazing place of all, forever.
For in hope were we saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for that which he sees? But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it, Rom 8:24,25.