I have been reading “A History of the Twentieth Century” by Martin Gilbert, and it is sobering to be so vividly reminded of events in the first half of that century… two world wars (over 100 million killed), territorial wars, racial wars, uprisings, massacres, tortures, health pandemics and great depressions. It makes me reflect on Hebrews 11 where scripture recounts the generations of people who gave their lives and bravely exercised their faith to the very end enduring these and other events.
After describing those many sacrifices of faith the author of Hebrews summarizes:
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sits at the right hand of the throne of God.
Although we have been relatively blessed in the last decades, we know that in this world we will have tribulation, but take courage, God has overcome the world (John 16:33).
Let us take comfort in knowing that there is nothing new in what we are experiencing… generations have experienced much more than we have and their amazing faith through it all gives me courage to endure with Joy. God is in control!
Don Wolf, elder