Hebrews 11:1 in the Amplifed bible says this: “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen (the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses). I love the detail in this translation with words like “title deed”, “confirmation” and “divinely guaranteed”. Faith makes absolutely no sense whatsoever from a human, earthly-minded point of view. It’s crazy! And yet, faith is exactly what is required to follow Jesus.
So, what would happen if some of the people in the Bible didn’t have faith? Let’s take a look at just a few people who change the world because of their faith.
Noah was a man who walked with God and found favor in the eyes of God (Gen 6:8 and 6:9). On an average day, God came to Noah and told him to make an ark that would hold his family plus two of every creature on the earth (Gen 6:14-21). While I’m certain everyone around would have thought him to be absolutely nuts, Noah did what God told him to do (Gen 6:22) and in that obedience, God saved his family and repopulated the planet. If Noah hadn’t been willing to have faith and follow God’s plan for his life, I’m certain God would have found someone else and then, we would know his story and not Noah’s. Through Noah we see faith at work in the midst of complete uncertainty and we see salvation. Through God in the story of Noah, we see a promise of life which we are reminded of with every beautiful rainbow.
Abram, soon to be renamed Abraham, is living life with this clan and God said to him “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” (Gen 12:1) God didn’t tell him exactly where to go, He just told him to go, pack up your entire household, and set off for a land that will identified later. Abram’s faith in God in this moment sets the stage for a miraculous life where God fulfills His promises over and over again, no matter how crazy they may seem. If Abraham hadn’t followed God at this pivotal point and set out for an unknown land, he wouldn’t have ended up with the children he had, and we wouldn’t have the same lineage of Jesus. Abraham’s faith in God, thousands of years ago, impacts us today.
Moses was a man who gave up his royalty to go back to his blood-line and identify as a slave. (Exodus 2) Then Moses encounters God in a deeper way through a bush that is on fire but not consumed and hears God’s call to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. (Exodus 3:11) Moses tries to talk God out of this call and yet, in the end, he is obedient. If Moses hadn’t followed God, we wouldn’t have Passover, we wouldn’t have the Ten Commandments, we wouldn’t have seen God part the Red Sea and so much more! Basically, we wouldn’t have as many real-life examples of how God does the impossible.
Every disciple of Jesus left their homes and families in order to follow an unknown traveling teacher with no guarantee and no plan. They faced ridicule and being misunderstood because they believed so strongly in the message of Jesus. They made mistakes along the way and, they did miracles. If people like Peter hadn’t followed Jesus, we woudn’t have the Church as we know it today. It’s not perfect, but it is important to our faith and our culture.
Read through Hebrews 11 and look up the stories in the Old Testament. There are so many examples of how God steps into the mundane and makes a miracle. God is not always about the safe route, He’s about the radical route, the route of faith. In the end, it is critical to grasp Hebrews 11:6 if you want to follow God well: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him”. If you can believe God is able to save you and take you to heaven for eternity, wouldn’t it stand to reason He is equally able to provide for you today?
What is God asking you to do today that you have put on the back burner because it just seems too crazy? I’m not saying every wild idea is from God, I am simply saying that God may ask you to go way outside your comfort zone and you have to determine if you are willing to increase your faith to meet His call. Pray. Get people who know you really well to pray with you. Share your dream with trusted partners. For me, I have a group of about 10 people who are always praying for me. I have a smaller group of 3 people who know me better than any other people on the planet and those 3 people pray with me and speak into my life. They don’t always agree with me and that’s what I need. We push each other to increase our faith and to test what we are hearing. We hold each other accountable and we seek the best for each other. If you don’t have a community like this around you, ask God to bring people to be a support to you and you to them. Don’t let fear hinder your faith, you can bet that God is waiting in the wings to do amazing things through you if you will just believe.