For those of us who follow Jesus, we see and hear this word often. When I did a google search for “sermons on faith”, there were 48 million options to review. You don’t have to look very hard to find the word on t-shirts, coffee cups, or wooden signs to hang in our homes. There is so much out there regarding faith. At first glance, faith is simple. Yet, when I really consider the word, I find complexity in the variety of my emotions, thoughts, and experiences surrounding faith.
My immediate response when I hear the word faith is to think of Jesus. I remember being seven years old, sitting in Vacation Bible School, and hearing for the first time that Jesus loved me and had a plan to save me from Hell. In those following moments, I prayed a prayer of faith and invited Jesus to be my Savior. Every time I remember the beginning of my faith journey, it causes my heart to be full of joy and gratitude for Jesus, and that He provided a way to save me that I could not do on my own.
Yet, I can also feel heaviness. I remember the times I lacked faith and instead of trusting Jesus, I looked to myself to solve the problem. I find myself struggling through expectations that my faith should look a certain way or compare it to others that appear to have a strong faith. In these moments, faith feels overwhelming and unattainable.
Finally, considering faith can bring questions. What does it truly look like to walk in faith in everyday life? In my job? In my family? In life’s difficult circumstances? At times, the answers to these questions feel fuzzy and just out of reach.
A few weeks ago in FellowshipKids, the lesson was on Hebrews 11 and the Hall of Faith. As I read the lesson and Bible story, I was reminded of God’s truth about faith. I share the reminders with you in hopes that you are encouraged and challenged too.
- God works mightily through people who have faith in Him. When I look at Hebrews 11, I see all kinds of people who were not always faithful or obedient. Many of them made some really poor decisions in their lives. Yet, even in their imperfection, they trusted God and had faith. The best part? God used their faith in the midst of their imperfections to accomplish His purposes through their lives. There is freedom in understanding that God can still use me in my brokenness to do great things for His Kingdom. Why? Because it is not based on me—it is based on God. He is the one who works mightily.
- Every job that God has for people is important. There are days I do not feel enough to do anything for God—whether it be big or small. I look at those around me who are doing so much for Jesus and I feel like my calling is just not worthy. Yet, when I read through the list of people in Hebrews 11 – Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Rahab, and all the others, I realize that God asked each of them to trust Him in different ways for different purposes. What God asked of Noah was different than what He asked of Rahab. Each were important for that time and for His purpose. What God asks of me is different than what God asks of you, but each is important for God’s plan of salvation to go forth to everyone, everywhere. Remembering this brings my focus off of me and back to where it should be—on God. My calling is to be faithful to who and what He has called me to and not to what He has called someone else to.
- Everyone has a place in Hebrews 11. Look at the truth in verse 41. Actually, Hebrews 11 does not have a verse 41. It is not a trick but rather a place for you to see that God’s Hall of Faith is not over. In my Bible, under verse 40, I have written in the following: Verse 41 – By faith, Hilary… When I read that, I am reminded that God is still writing stories of faith. He is not finished writing His faith story in my own life. I am reminded that each day I have the choice of taking my belief and putting it together with trust to walk in faith. The truth is that each of us can allow God to write a verse 41 in our lives. What follows our names in the dot, dot, dot is different as we all have different stories, different journeys, and different purposes. Each of us is called to be obedient to what God is asking us to be, say, and do.
As we move forward in our lessons of faith, let’s take the challenge that comes following the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 12,
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 (ESV)
Keep running the race in faith, Fellowship family!