Daily Devotion

April 20, 2013

Debbie Russell

“These were all commended for their faith.” Heb 11:39 NIV

Debbie, a radiant thirty-seven-year-old who worked at The Word For You Today in Atlanta, died after battling cancer. People everywhere prayed for her healing, including the elders at Northpoint Church. Some of those who attended her funeral wondered, “Why?” The truth is, sometimes God heals us in response to the prayer of faith (See Jas 5:14), other times He takes us to heaven, which Paul describes as “far better” (See Php 1:23). This raises the question: “Why are some people healed in response to prayer and others not?” The answer is: “We don’t know, and God doesn’t tell us!” Paul, who wrote half the New Testament, had a ministry so miraculous that the dead were raised. Yet he confessed, “We know in part” (1Co 13:9).

Pastor James Bradley sheds light on this difficult subject. He points out that in Hebrews chapter eleven, some “escaped the edge of the sword” (Heb 11:34 NIV), while others “were put to death by the sword” (Heb 11:37 NIV). But notice in verse 39, “These were all commended for their faith.” Bradley writes: “It seems clear that we can’t always measure faith by results. Faith is a virtue and value on its own merit. Our faith is not based on what we get, it’s based on who we trust.“ Speaking of Debbie’s death, he wrote: “She did not fail her faith and her faith did not fail her. She was, and is, a wonderful example of trusting God in the most difficult of life’s challenges. She’s a champion of faith, and I was inspired by her unshakeable trust and love for the Lord.”