In his book, The Holiest of All, Andrew Murray provides some excellent comments on Hebrews 11:35-38 and suffering:
Heb 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
God has given us these examples of those who by faith triumphed over the extremities of suffering , that we might from them learn how to bear our lesser trials. Their faith in extraordinary suffering must strengthen ours in ordinary. It is in the little common trials of daily life that every believer can follow in the footsteps of these saints, in the footsteps of the great Leader of our salvation. By faith alone are we able to bear suffering, great or small, aright to God’s glory or our own welfare.
Yes, by faith alone. Faith sees it in the light of God and eternity; its short pain, its everlasting gain; its impotence to hurt the soul, its power to purify and to bless it. It sees Him who allows it, with us in the fire, as a refiner watching our purging and perfecting, as a helper of our strength and comfort. It sees that the forming of a character like that of the Son of God, maintaining at every cost the Father’s will and honour, is more than all the world can give. It sees that to be made partaker of His holiness, to have the humility and weakness and gentleness of the Lamb of God inwrought into us, and like Him to be made perfect in suffering, is the spirit of heaven, and it counts nothing too great to gain this treasure. By faith alone, but by faith most surely, we can, in the midst of the deepest suffering, be more than conquerors.
—Andrew Murray, The Holiest of All, 470-71.
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