“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about the things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Be encouraged today by studying Hebrews 11. Go ahead and read it and lets marvel at those who chose to believe God and trust Christ whole-heartedly without hesitation. The people you are going to study paved the way for every generation to follow by example. They believed God; nothing more, nothing less. They let go of themselves (Think of the Nestea plunge. Google it if you don’t know what I mean.), and allowed God to get them ready for heaven. You and I need to prepare ourselves for heaven too. In our sinful flesh, we are unfit for His Kingdom. As we study the Bible, we recognize the dilemma we find ourselves in and why we need Jesus to save us.
You and I need Jesus. For apart from Him, we have no hope for eternal life.
It is because of faith that these people in the days of old earned a good reputation, see verse 2. Do you have a good reputation? What would others say about you? More importantly, what is God saying about you?
What do you learn about the universe from verse 3? What do you think the author wants you to know?
By faith, Abel pleased God. In verse 4, what did he do to please God? What else do you learn from Him? How can you live like Abel?
By faith, Enoch pleased God, in verse 5. Read Genesis 4:17 and 5:21-24 to learn who Enoch was. Do you live to please God? How can you live like Enoch?
Verse 6 tells you that you cannot please God without faith. What do you learn about faith from this verse? Believers in biblical times believed that God existed and sincerely sought Him. How about you?
By faith, Noah obeyed God, see verse 7. Would you obey like he did? Think about this, it had never rained before in Noah’s day. People would not know what a flood meant, so, when he warned everyone about rain coming and a flood, no one listened but his family. “Noah condemned the rest of the world.”7 This means He gave all credit to God, while everyone else did not. He walked in the ways of the Lord, while everyone else did their own thing. What did he receive from God? How can you live like Noah?
By faith, Abraham obeyed God, see verse 8. What did he do that showed he followed what God told him? “He went without knowing where he was going.”8 Would you follow God with this kind of abandonment? What is encouraging in verse 9? God keeps His promises. What does Abraham have confidence in, see verse 10? How can you live like Abraham?
By faith, Sarah believed despite her old age, see verse 11, that God would keep His promise. Even when your circumstances seem good as dead, do you believe that God can resurrect anything? God needed to bring forth nations of believers. He used Abraham and Sarah. What makes God amazing as He used this one couple, see verse 12? How can you live like Sarah?
Every one of these believers died still believing what God promised them, even if they didn’t see it for themselves on this side of heaven, see verses 13-15. What do you learn from these verses that show that believers are to live like earth is not their home?
By faith, Abraham was willing to follow God in a difficult way. What did God ask of Abraham in verses 17-19? Do you follow God even in the hard, bewildering times? Isaac was Abraham’s pride and joy, yet he was willing to give him up and trust God. What do you hold on to so tight that you are telling God no? It is time to release whatever it is you are holding onto and trust without hesitation.
By faith, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph remained confident in God, see verses 20-22. Because they remained confident in God, they were able to trust Him. Do you trust God? Are you confident that He will come through for you?
By faith, Moses “kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.”27 What do you learn about Moses in verses 24-28? Moses was adopted into wealth. He grew up with all his need met. Yet, when he came to understand who he truly was, he released all his worldly possessions and fought hard for his spiritual heritage. God is calling you to do the same, will you?
The people of Israel found themselves in some arduous times where their faith had to lead them to victory, see verses 29-30. By faith, God answered them and He delivered them from the enemy. Even in difficult times, do you believe God will get you to where He will tell you, “You are victorious?”
By faith, Rahab protected believers in war time, see verse 31. Would you be brave like she was and trust God to protect you?
Look at verses 32-35a and see how many others trusted God without hesitation. What did they do to show that they whole-heartedly followed God? How were they able to accomplish brave things? Yes, it is by faith! When we live by faith, heaven is opened up and we are able to do mighty things. Do you believe? As I tremble in my shoes, I say, “I believe.”
Verses 35b-38 show the side of faith that keeps me from wanting to go all in for Christ. Is this accurate for you as well? The world despises Christ. It will hate you too. According to verse 37, where do believers place their hope? Do you see yourself as, “too good for this world”?38 I find that the deeper I go with Christ, the more lonelier it seems. When I pray over it, God always fills me with Himself and reminds me of why it is; see Matthew 7:13-14. He always brings me to a place of contentment. I am made for a better world, and I keep my faith in Christ.
“All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith.”39
What do you think the author is referring to when he says that “God has something better in mind for them and us,” see verse 40? Keep the faith and hold onto Christ. Live without any hesitation or reservation as the Holy Spirit works within you to help you become His Kingdom builder. He is uniting His people in love.