Faith is seeing afar off
All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16 NLT
Abraham and the rest of the patriarchs did not see the fulfillment of God’s promises while they were still here on earth, “but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it” (Hebrews 11:13). They all finished well. They remained faithful up until their death. They trusted God that they will receive what He promised. Along with their trust and confidence to God, “they agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth” (Hebrews 11:13c). They lived in tents for they knew that there is a heavenly city that awaited them in the future. This is what sustained them while here on earth. They had endured and persevered in the midst of trials and difficulties for they embraced the promise of God. The writer of Hebrews listed the patriarchs and their life of faith so that their lives could provide us example. We who had trusted Jesus as our Lord and Savior “are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior” (Philippians 3:20). Since we too are anticipating the day when Jesus will return so that we can be with Him for eternity, we have to “think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:2-3). Having this conviction will enable us to live also with a life of faith. Though the patriarchs are flawed people just like us, they were assured that “God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:16). There is no higher honor than to know that God is proud of those who trust and obey Him for they belong to His Kingdom. Having faith in God is what pleases Him and “that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).