By A.W. Tozer
In the dealings of God with men, hope has held a noble place. The expectation that Messiah would come cheered Israel in her years of victory and kept her from despairing in her periods of captivity and dispersal. Those who feared the Lord have often had rough going.
They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword: They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated--the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground (Hebrews 11:37-38).
That is a New Testament tribute to Old Testament saints; but the record of Christian times is fully as grim and sometimes worse. Only the strength of a great expectation enabled the suffering saints to hold out to the end. The cheerful hope of better days allowed them not only to endure the pain but to sing and rejoice in the midst of it.