Hebrews 11 is a description of faith in action — how God’s people have always lived by faith. In this chapter, several verses are devoted to the example of Abraham, who is called “the father of the faithful.” Genesis 15:6 tells us that he “believed the Lord.” Hebrews 11:8 says, “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” (see Genesis 12:1).
References to: faith
Hebrews 11 is often called the faith chapter. It describes how various people responded in faith to what God said to them. But these stories are not told as historical trivia — they encourage us to have faith in our situations, too.
Even the greatest faith imaginable would be of little worth if the supreme God were not faithful. But God is faithful. “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
Living faith goes beyond believing that God exists. The faithful also believe God actively intervenes in their lives. That is why the Scriptures tell us “anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and [equally important!] that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
It was electrifying news: Jesus Christ had risen from the dead! Just as he had said he would. “We have seen the Lord!” some of the disciples excitedly affirmed. The disciple named Thomas, however, could not bring himself to believe it. “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side,” he exclaimed, “I will not believe it” (John 20:25).
Living faith — the kind of faith described in the Bible — can transform your life, enabling you to enjoy a close, personal relationship with God. Faith can offer freedom from the shackles of worry, doubt and fear. It can bring strength, hope and wisdom in the face of problems and challenges.
For an overview of what will be covered in this chapter, read Genesis 12–25.
Abraham is without question one of the outstanding individuals of the Old Testament. God spoke to him personally, visited him in his home and even considered him a friend. And Abraham loved God. He obeyed him, served him, and was even willing to sacrifice his son to prove his faith. Abraham is a biblical superhero, richly deserving a place in the Old Testament Hall of Fame. But are his experiences something you can personally relate to?
One night recently I couldn’t sleep, and after an hour or so of tossing and turning I got up and went to the kitchen. I stared into the fridge for a minute or so, then stared into the freezer for a while, and finally into the food cupboard, and then started over. At last, sometime during the third or fourth survey of the fridge, I pulled some leftover meatloaf from behind the milk and made myself a sandwich, and went to see if anything good might be on TV at 2 o’clock in the morning.
Peter, the fisherman-disciple, embarked on a lifetime journey with Jesus Christ. We can do the same.
Their small fishing boat was being battered about in the stormy Sea of Galilee. Suddenly, out of the darkness emerged a shadowy figure. Incredibly, the phantom seemed to be — yes, it was — walking on the water toward them.
know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of
the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the
good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter,
Buzz, and other websites.
If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.
Jesus once healed a paralyzed man whose friends had let him down through the roof on his bed to get him past the crowds to Jesus. But instead of saying to the paralyzed man, “Rise up and walk,” Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5).
The Pharisees were outraged that Jesus, a mere man, would presume to forgive sins. So Jesus told them, “So that you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins, I say to the lame man, ‘Rise up and walk” (verses 10-11, paraphrased).