Read: Hebrews 11 (yep, the whole chapter again!)
Sometimes, when we read this chapter and it’s accounts of incredible faith, I think it can be intimidating.
Noah built an enormous ark out of faith. Abraham (as we saw last week) was willing to sacrifice his own son. Moses parted the Red Sea, the walls of Jericho fell, and martyrs faced terrible deaths, all in faith.
The author states that “time will fail me” (v.32) if he recounts all the faith-filled actions of people “who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness,obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong,became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” (Hebrews 11:33-34)
And here I am thinking, what about me? Do I have faith like that? Can I?
The answer is yes.
You see, those people, who lived out such acts of faith, were still just people. People who made mistakes and sinned. Imperfect people and yet God used them to accomplish mighty things.
Think about it… Moses killed a man in anger (Exodus 2:12), Rahab was a harlot (Joshua 2:1), and David committed adultery (2 Samuel 11:3-4)
Their sins are known and recorded but still their faith is listed in this “hall of fame” chapter.
Because when we repent God offers complete forgiveness! He doesn’t hold our past sins against us. He gives us grace and faith that isn’t of ourselves but a gift from Himself(Ephesians 2:8).
Our mistakes and imperfections do not disqualify us from living lives of faith.
I feel like it should be said, as Paul wrote to the Romans (Romans 6:1-2), that God’s grace doesn’t mean we should continue sinning. But let’s remember that the people listed in Hebrews 11 weren’t perfect. There’s only one perfect person in the Bible and that’s Jesus.
So while these acts of faith are impressive, it’s only through God that these men and women could live out their faith in such a way.
That same God can use our lives – despite our sins and mistakes and imperfections – to fulfill His purpose and plan. We too can live “hall of fame” faith-filled lives through Him!
Reflect: Are there mistakes, sins, and imperfections that you feel disqualify you from being an example of faith? Do you still need to repent or are you holding onto something that God has already forgiven? Bring it before the Lord in prayer this week.