Obtaining a Good Report
Hebrews 11:1 NIV: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:2 NIV: For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Here, we are told that the elders received a good report by their faith in God.
What then is a report in this context?
It is God’s report about our lives: about His impression of us. The report can be good or bad.
For these elders: like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, what they had was a good report.
There are others in the Bible of whom we read that had bad reports: like Cain, Balaam, Jeroboam, Jezebel and others.
Here, the Bible tells us that the Elders received a good report because they hono God by having faith in His integrity when they could not see anything in the physical.
In fact, some of them died in faith not receiving in their lifetime what God had promised but still believed in God’s integrity:
Hebrews 11:13 KJV: These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Many Christians today get easily discouraged when the promises of God in their lives do not quickly come into physical manifestation.
In fact, some people even lose their faith in Christ completely and become offended simply because some physical or material blessing God has promised has not been manifested in their lives.
To obtain a good report, we must continue to trust in God’s integrity even when it seems as if what God has promised has not yet been manifested.
We must be prepa to do this even unto death, like Job and Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego:
Job 13:15 NKJV: Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Daniel 3:16-18 NKJV: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answe and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.“
Our faith in God is not to be based on Him giving us physical and material blessings alone.
1 Corinthians 15:19 NKJV: If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
Rather our faith in God is to be based on:
1. The reality of His existence as evidenced by the intelligent creation we can observe:
Romans 1:20 NIV: For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
2. His ability to supernaturally change our sinful spiritual nature to the righteous spiritual nature of God through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ:
2 Corinthians 5:17, 21 NIV: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Romans 6:4, 5-6 NIV: We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–
3. His ability to fill us with the power of His Holy Spirit enabling us to speak in a supernatural prayer language, through which the Holy Spirit teaches us and gives us revelation knowledge:
Acts 2:4 NIV: All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
1 Corinthians 14:2, 7, 9-10, 13 NKJV: For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, 9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have ente into the heart of man The things which God has prepa for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
These 3 facts mentioned above form the basis of our faith in God such that no material or physical blessing lacking in our lives can change it.
Of course, as we walk with God in faith and obedience God will bless us physically, materially and financially:
Job 36:11 NKJV: If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures.
However, we will still trust in God even when these physical, material or financial blessings have not yet been manifested.
It is doing this that will cause us, like the elders mentioned above, to obtain a good report.