Trust and Obey: The Sacrificial Faith of Hebrews 11

The Book of Hebrews was written to encourage Jewish Christians who were facing spiritual struggles. They needed inspiration and assurance to continue their walk with Christ. In Hebrews 11, we find an account of the power of faith in God, showcasing exemplary men and women who gained God's approval. Their stories serve as remarkable examples for us today, highlighting the impact of faith from different perspectives.

Faith Defined (Hebrews 11:1, 6):
In Hebrews 11:1, faith is described as the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. It is a mental "conviction" and a personal acceptance and reliance on what is believed. It confidently believes in God's existence and power, moving us to build our lives upon His promises. Faith is not passive but an active dependence and trusting response to what is believed. It encompasses our thoughts, emotions, and actions, surrendering ourselves to God's word and will.

 Faith Exemplified (Hebrews 11:4-38):
Hebrews 11 is often referred to as the "Hall of Fame of Faith" in the Bible. It features various individuals who glorified God through their outstanding faith. From Abel, Enoch, and Noah to Abraham, Sarah, and Moses, these men and women proved that faith can lead us to please God, defeat sin, and bring positive change to an evil world. Their stories remind us that God uses ordinary people who trust Him to accomplish great things. Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him, Hebrews 11.6.

Faith Applied:
Faith provides spiritual vision beyond the physical. These all died in faith, although they had not received the things that were promised. But they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland, Hebrews 11.13-14. The examples in Hebrews 11 teach us to see unseen spiritual realities and trust God's promises despite challenging circumstances. Just like Abraham and Moses, we can endure hardships because we trust in the unseen God. Faith is obedient submission to God's will, recognizing His authority even when we don't fully comprehend His ways. It requires commitment and willingness to obey, even in challenging situations.

Hebrews 11 demonstrates the profound power and purpose of faith in the lives of believers. As we reflect on the examples of faith, we are encouraged to stand firm in our convictions and depend on God's promises. Our faith emboldens us to stand up for truth and make sacrifices to please God. Let us remember that God will reward abundantly all that we sacrifice for Him. May we strive to emulate the faith of those in Hebrews 11, finding inspiration and strength to walk with Jesus and live a life overflowing with gratitude for His love and faithfulness.

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Matthew Allen

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