29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days. 31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. 32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Hebrews chapter 11: The Great Hall of Faith. Imagine walking into the main exhibition hall of a living museum, with all these people – Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barack, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel – sitting at tables. They are waiting for you to come and listen as they share their stories of how God came through for them. They tell you about how they wrestled with their fears and doubts, how they reminded themselves of God’s faithfulness, and then their jubilation and relief at seeing God move on their behalf and make things happen. You’ve heard some amazing stories and you know that you are in a special place. As you move to the next table, you wonder what great miracle God did for this person. But as you listen, you hear their story is not so great. In fact, it’s terrible. Their prayer wasn’t answered. Far from it. In fact, you think that God abandoned them. Yet here they sit across from you, with the same joy as the others. By looking at them, you wouldn’t know that they had a bad experience.
You wonder how can they be so joyful, so at peace, so unmarked by unanswered prayers?
It’s as though faith shaped them. Not their circumstance. It’s as though faith was a person with a life and power of its own. The Passion Translation describes faith this way:
Faith sparks courage!
How do I get this kind of faith?! God has already gifted it to me when I invited Him to be my Lord and Saviour. Faith is the arena God calls me to live in (v40 TPT). Lord, help me live by faith!
Written by Gab Martin