By Toni Ford
The word “faith” is a fairly common word in the Bible. If you were to ask people what faith means, you might hear answers such as trusting or believing in something. To fully understand faith, a good place to study is Hebrews 11. Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Many have called this chapter in Hebrews the Hall of Faith. If you read on in Hebrews 11, you immediately discover what it means to be a person of faith and how faith enables one to do great things for the Lord.
Listed below are a few of the heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11 and the lessons we can learn from each of them.
Abel, the first martyr in the Bible. Abel and his brother Cain were sons of Adam and Eve. Cain was a farmer, while Abel attended to animals. Abel understood what it meant to give the best of his first fruits of labor to God. Cain, however, did not give his best, and what he did give was given with a begrudging heart. Abel’s offering came from a place of worship and reverence, whereas Cain’s came from a heart of greed. The greed and jealousy in Cain’s heart resulted in Cain killing his brother. This is the first act of homicide recorded in the Bible.
Lesson learned: our worship and trust in God should come from a place of humility, honesty and respect. He always deserves our best.
Enoch, the man who walked with God. Scripture describes the life of Enoch as a man who “walked faithfully with God.” This means our daily walk with God, day in and day out, is more important than a spiritual “to do” checklist. It is about relationship and not religion.
Lesson learned: when we trust God, we live a life that is so much better than one without Him.
Noah, a righteous man. We can only fathom how much ridicule Noah faced as he obeyed God’s instructions to build to a boat that would eventually save Noah and his family from a terrible flood. Can you imagine how many sleepless nights and conversations Noah had with God, asking if God really meant what He said? Faith in God means following Him and His instructions, even when we cannot fully comprehend the situation.
Lesson learned: trusting God is always worth it!
Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation. It took faith for Abraham to set out for a new land and to believe God when He said, “I will make you into a great nation.” The journey was long and not always safe. Through it all, however, Abraham trusted God and did what was asked of him to protect the covenant God made with him, which eventually brought forth the nation of Israel.
Lesson learned: trusting in God is about believing that He can plan your life better than you can.
Moses, the leader for Children of Israel. Moses is instructed by God to go to Egypt and tell the Pharaoh to release all of God’s people. Moses immediately doubts his own usefulness and begins to list all the reasons why God’s plan will not work. Sound familiar? Moses had faith that God would give him the strength to lead, even when he felt inadequate to do so.
Lesson learned: no man or woman is too good for the Lord’s service or too far gone to be an instrument of righteousness.
Dear Lord, please help me walk out my faith in You. Increase my faith daily and use me as a testimony and witness to others about Your goodness and faithfulness, regardless of my circumstances, just as You used these heroes of faith.
If you would like continued prayer, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!