Yesterday, while doing my daily reading, it was the chapter I read, but this time I felt a question form in my mind. It was this; “If your name were to be included in a paragraph that began with the words, by faith, what would it say?” I’ve spent the better part of two days contemplating this thought. I opened to the chapter again today to read about the Heroes of Faith. This is some of what has been written about those who chose to live by faith.
- By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead (vs. 4, NIV).
- By faith Enoch was taken from this life… (vs. 5a).
- By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith (vs.7).
- By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going (vs. 8).
- …By faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise (vs.11).
- By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice (vs. 17a).
- By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future (vs. 20.).
- By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff (vs. 21).
I will stop there, but the list goes on of by faith stories of Joseph, Moses parents, Moses, the Israelites and the prostitute Rahab. So many people, living by faith, doing God’s will. And now I am left feeling somewhat inadequate to even consider writing my by faith paragraph. I certainly don’t feel as though I am deserving of one. I know, all to well, the times I failed to have faith. But then, I am reminded that is the very reason I can write a by faith paragraph. There have been times of failure, but God used them for His glory too!
So now, I am forced to think about how my paragraph might read. It might go something like this; By faith, Kolleen believed in the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. By faith, Kolleen believed God when He said she could be forgiven of her past sins. By faith, Kolleen believed she could be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. By faith, Kolleen believed she could forgive others because she has been forgiven. By faith, Kolleen, when believing she had no sense of purpose, latched on to the Word of God and began to see His purpose for her life. By faith, Kolleen, when full of doubt and confusion, trusted God to give her the mind of Christ. By faith, Kolleen believed that what God said about her was truth, no matter what her feelings told her. By faith, Kolleen surrendered her fear of what others would think of her, when He told her to SPEAK.
That is a good start for my by faith paragraph. Now let me ask you. What would your by faith paragraph say about you? What moments in your life would you write about? What has your faith brought you through? Like Moses’ parents who, by faith, hid their son so he would be spared death, our kids often drive us to our knees in prayer. We desperately desire to save their lives from a world that wants to gobble them up. We may find ourselves like the Israelites, needing to pass through something as crazy as the Red Sea, and the only way we can make it is, by faith. What by faith moment are you in right now? What giant sea are you staring at that you must pass through?
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for” (Hebrews 11:1-2). I want to be like the ancients - those written about in this chapter. They lived in confidence of what they hoped for, even though they didn’t see it. They simply lived by faith.