It is common to think of faith as something that is just within us — trust and confidence in God. While that is surely part of it, faith doesn’t stop there. Faith starts inside of us and always leads to action.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews wanted to explain the fullness of faith to the early Jewish Christians. One of the best ways he could do this was to walk through examples of how men and women in the Old Testament had proven to be faithful. The result is Hebrews 11, often known as the Hall of Faith.
Abel had faith when he gave an offering to God, and God accepted his offering. Noah had faith. He believed God when God told him to build an ark to rescue his family.
Abraham had faith when God called him to leave his home. Abraham’s wife Sarah had faith when she trusted God to give her a family even though she was too old to have children. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses had faith too. Rahab had faith when she hid the Israelite spies in Jericho.
All of these people trusted God, and so did many others. Having faith was not easy. Many suffered, and they died before God’s greatest promise — the arrival of Jesus — came true, but they believed that God had a wonderful plan. God was pleased with them because they trusted Him.
The Bible gives examples of people who had faith, but the true hero of the Bible is Jesus. Jesus looked forward to the joy that would come because of the cross. Because of Jesus, the things the faithful people in the Bible looked forward to will come true. We know that Jesus will come back one day because God always keeps His promises.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
This week, share the examples of these heroes of faith to help your kids understand faith in action. We can and should learn from these examples; that is why God gave them to us in Hebrews 11. However, emphasize that every person in this list was a sinner in need of salvation. Each of these heroes needed a greater hero. Point your kids to the perfect hero who rescues us from sin: Jesus.