Friday, May 28, 2010

An Audience of Angels

When I was a child someone told me about the "great cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1). Somehow I got the idea that angels and people who had gone to heaven before me were watching over my shoulder and keeping track of all my mistakes. This was a fear-filled thought because no one knew better than I how often I failed to do things perfectly. I'm pretty sure I got that idea because it's not an uncommon thought...

The truth is so far more glorious and exciting. First Peter 1 tells us that our faith is on trial. It also tells us that "God is protecting you by his power" (v. 5), "that your faith is far more precious than mere gold" (v. 7) and that "it is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen." (v. 12) Words like "protecting", "precious", and "wonderful" are not words to inspire fear, but hope!

How is our faith being tested? In the opportunities to believe that God has good plans for us...even when things look like they're falling apart around us. (Jer. 29:11) In the opportunity to forgive, not because someone is sorry, but because we've been forgiven. (Matt. 6:12) In the opportunity to sing praise to God when we feel like we're surrounded by a challenge much bigger than we are. (2 Chron. 20) If you pause and consider your life for a minute, you'll know where this particular trial is for you right now.

In the moments when we're facing these struggles it's easy to feel weary, condemned or insignificant, but if angels are watching "eagerly" because "it is all so wonderful", we can be encouraged that something very huge, amazing and eternal is happening when we lift our hands in praise and confess God's truth in the face of difficulty. It's breathtaking to think that the angels who stand in the presence of God are eagerly watching the seemingly mundane events of our lives with excitement.

May God bless you with hope and encouragement and the knowledge that He is protecting you by His power!


  1. Mmmm, thank you. I must admit this post stirred up some interesting thoughts and's easy to jump to conclusions and think that this faith is a kind of transaction, where if a person does one thing (i.e. believes one time that God will provide something), God will follow through. But God follows through on ALL his promises; not just the ones we choose to have faith in! God's goodness and love is not conditional. He ain't about "transactions"--he's given us a freedom of choice. It's about learning to exercise that freedom beneath the shelter of His wings...

    Don't know if that first part made any sense in the context of that blog post.

    It's all about attitude, eh? I think I'm meshing this post together with all the stuff in the "Loving our Kids on Purpose" book and trying to understand all these crazy Kingdom truths.

  2. I love the "great cloud of witnesses", which I guess is angels but I have always associated it more with those who have gone before. (Gerry's there!) In fact, the context is referring back to the 'Shepherd's Hall of Faith' in Hebrews 11. I have always been intrigued by the verse 40 at the end of chapter 11 that says, 'only together with us would they be made perfect.' Just recently I was teaching on this passage and God gave me a new insight. The context is a race. What kind of race has some people depending on others further along? A relay race, of course! These biblical predecessors have passed on the torch of faith in the relay. Until the last person receives the torch and completes the relay, the race is not done. I had the group I was teaching stand up and act this out and it brought a new realization of the communion of saints, not just around the world but throughout history as all wait with bated breath to see the completion and fulfillment of what God has done and is doing in and through us! Sorry for a long theology lesson but I hope this insight blesses you as much as it blessed me. Press on, dear sister, and carry the torch high!