As a baseball fan, I would love to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Here are few items you would find:
- Transfer agreement sending Babe Ruth from Red Sox to Yankees for $25,000 “and other good and valuable considerations.”
- Nolan Ryan’s caps from each of his seven no-hitters (4 Angels, 2 Rangers, 1 Astros).
- You’ll even find Shoeless Joe Jackson’s shoes.
Perhaps baseball isn’t your thing and you would be bored-to-death visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame. What Halls of Fame would you visit? Maybe you’d like to visit one of these:
- Croquet Hall of Fame
- International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center
- National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame
Hebrews 11 has often been referred to as the Bible’s “Hall of Fame for Faith.” It’s filled with snapshots of people who lived by faith.
We live in a world where many people dismiss faith as simply “wishful thinking.” H.L. Mencken, the American editor who died in 1956, defined faith this way:
“Illogical belief in the occurrence of the impossible.” Maybe you define it that way, too.
The other mistake people make is to define faith simply as what a person or religion believes. We talk about the “Christian faith” or the “Muslim faith.”
Hebrews 11 describes the type of faith that takes God at his word and lives expectantly and obediently in the present moment, while waiting for God to fulfill his promises.
The faith that God honors is a faith that remains confidently obedient to him in spite of circumstances and consequences.
As you read Hebrews 11, you’ll find circumstances that seem impossible. You’ll find consequences that are frightening and unknown.
Yet, the men and women recognized in Hebrews 11, took action despite their circumstances and the potential consequences.
How can you live your live the way they lived theirs? It’s start with understanding the importance of faith: Faith is an expression of our confidence in God’s promises.
On a purely human level, we live by faith everyday. Husbands, you eat what your wife fixes for dinner without having it tested for poisons. You have faith (confidence) that she’s not trying to kill you.
This might sound simple, but the opposite of living by faith is living by unbelief.
Earlier in Hebrews, the writer had this to say: “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” (Hebrews 3:12)
How does this show up in everyday life?
- I get stressed out because I don’t believe – God is in control!
- I get anxious about what might happen because I don’t believe – God is at work in my life!
Faith is not some “feeling” that we manufacture.
Faith is our obedient response to the character of God.