Of all the righteous who have gone before you, they were all characterized by one specific trait. They were commended by God as being righteous, found acceptable in His sight, found to have pleased God the Father, and who the world was not worthy. All of this was because they had faith in God.
Not a man’s idea of faith. Faith that the sun will come out tomorrow. Faith that the chair will not break under your weight. Faith that after winter comes spring. Faith that the pain will fade away or that everything will eventually be ok. No, faith in God is so much more than the predictable things, than the things that you can see, touch, or feel.
Those with true, unbreakable, unshakable, and unparalleled faith in God go above and beyond the norm. Without shame, they believe without doubting, move forward without delay, and jump without looking when ordered by the Lord. They believe in what is unseen.
They have faith in God for who He is, that His words are true, and that if He declares it, it will happen. Nothing He declares is impossible. The faithful believe in what God says that seems unfeasible, unthinkable, unbelievable, and unimaginable. They believe in Him because for God to do what He has said is easier than snapping one’s fingers, and it is done.
Look to the faithful whose testimony has stood the test of time, and examine their faith in the face of opposition. The proof of their faith in what they accomplished. What they overcame, suffered, and endured yet kept on going and what they did with unwavering conviction to the very end, believing in Him who holds all things together.
By faith, Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous; by faith, Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found because God had taken him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.
By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith, Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age since she considered him faithful who had promised. By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,
By faith, Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. By faith, Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. By faith, Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.
By faith, Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith, Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
By faith, the people crossed the Red Sea; by faith, the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab, the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, Hebrews 11:4,5,7,8,11,17,20-25,29-31
It was their firm faith in God that moved them forward. Their faith gave them the strength and confidence to do the unthinkable. When all others would have scoffed and turned away, they set their faces toward the will of the Lord and forged ahead into uncharted waters.
They did not worry if they would reach their goal or receive the promise. But they looked ahead by faith to the unseen. They forged forward by faith into the unknown; by faith, they did not doubt God. Whatever God says is true; He never lies or fails.
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David, and Samuel, and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated, of whom the world was not worthy, wandering about in deserts and mountains and in dens and caves of the earth. Hebrews 11:32-38
They all walked by faith, believing in the all-powerful, almighty God, described by words that baffle the mind. “Of whom the world was not worthy.” Yes, it was their faith that made them worthy. Yet they didn’t even receive what God promised in this life.
And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us, they should not be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40
But God has promised you so much more than they ever knew possible. He has promised you Heaven, glory, majesty, and a celestial city prepared for you where there is no more night, scorching sun, sorrow, pain, or woe. You will live forever in Heaven with the one who gave it all for your soul. In eternity, you will rejoice as an heir to the Kingdom of God alongside Jesus Christ the Lord, the King of kings and Lord of lords. So rejoice and move forward in the will of the Lord by faith.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder, and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2