Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. For by it the people of old received God’s commendation. (Hebrews 11:1–2, NET).
In Cooperstown, New York, fans of the game of baseball can find a museum dedicated to the sport. One of the main attractions of this museum is the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame pays tribute to players whose achievements in the sport of baseball stood out. They are players who have been considered the cream of the crop, the best of the best. By studying the lives of great players like Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and Tom Seaver, you can learn a lot about what it takes to be a great baseball player.
The Bible has its own Hall of Fame or “Hall of Faith” as it is called by some. It is a tribute to some of the great names of the Old Testament, those who are examples of faith in action. This “Hall of Faith” is found in the book of Hebrews. In 40 verses (Hebrews 11:1-40), the writer of Hebrews speaks of those people of faith and how they displayed their faith. Just as the Baseball Hall of Fame highlights players whose achievements stood out, Hebrews 11 highlights those whose faith in action, whose faithfulness, stood out. And, by studying the lives and faith of people like Abraham, Moses, Gideon, and Noah, you can learn a lot about what it takes to have a faith that pleases God.
Abraham demonstrated his faith when he left his home to travel to a land he had never seen, a land that was promised to him by God. Moses demonstrated his faith when he gave up the life of luxury he had as part of Pharaoh’s family, choosing instead to be with the people of God, the Jews, and lead them out of slavery in Egypt. Gideon demonstrated his faith when, as God commanded, he went up against an army of thousands with only three hundred of his own men. And Noah demonstrated his faith when, based on the flood that God told him would come, he built an ark in which to save his family from destruction.
Two things stand out with regard to the people we read about in Hebrews 11. The first is that they are all flawed, imperfect human beings. They had faults, and they had shortcomings. But, what they lacked in ability, what they lacked in character, they made up for in faith. And because they had faith and demonstrated that faith by their actions, God used them in mighty ways and, as it says in Hebrews 11:2, they received God’s commendation. The second thing that stands out regarding the members of the “Hall of Faith” is that the things they accomplished were things that they could not possibly have accomplished on their own. They accomplished them through the grace of God, who enabled them to do so because of their faith.
Is your faith failing? Do you feel that you don’t have enough faith to accomplish the things you feel God is calling you to do? Visit the “Hall of Faith.” The accounts of those whose names are found in those verses are sure to boost your faith and help you to see that, with God, nothing is impossible.
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from The NET Bible® Copyright © 2005 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. www.bible.org All rights reserved.