Hebrews 11 shows us some Old Testament examples of people of faith. Faith gave them true vision. They waited for the earthly promises, but their true sight was upon the eternal.
Verse 13 says, “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”
Yes, these great people of faith did not themselves receive the promise on earth, but they looked beyond their lives, by faith, to the time that the promise would be fulfilled. The promise was the promise of the Messiah (see John 8:56).
We have received the promise. Jesus has now come. He has saved all who believe in Him. He has made all who believe in Him to be God’s people.
At the same time, we don’t experience the promises fully on earth. We know Him now but we will see Him in glory. We are forgiven here, but we will never ever sin in glory. He comforts us in our sorrow here, but He will wipe away every tear and there will be no more sorrow there. The Lord can heal our sickness here, but there is no sickness in glory – we will be fully and permanently healed. Here the Lord will allow our bodies to die, unless He comes first, but there we will never die; death is gone forever!
So, as we follow in the footsteps of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, let’s praise the Lord that we have salvation; Jesus has come. But let’s also keep our spiritual eyes on those eternal realities, because those realities give us the strength to continue to live for His glory on this earth.