On verses 8-19: To illustrate what faith looks like in real life, the writer of Hebrews focuses in on the life of Abraham and his wife Sarah. Their incredible story is told in Genesis 12-25. Here’s what I learned verse by verse about what faith looks like from the life of Abraham and Sarah as described by the writer of Hebrews.
Hebrews 11:8 (NIV) 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
On verse 8: Faith is going where God tells you to go, even when you don’t see the whole picture. So if you’re waiting to see the full picture before you go, guess what? You’re not living by faith.
Hebrews 11:9 (NIV) 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
On verse 9: Faith is leaving your comfort zone and letting go of what’s familiar and comfortable.
Hebrews 11:10 (NIV) 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
On verse 10: Faith is believing that our hope is not on earth, but in heaven, and that our home is not seen but unseen.
Hebrews 11:11 (NLT2) 11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise.
On verse 11: Faith is leaning not on my own strengths and weaknesses, but on God’s power and faithfulness.
Hebrews 11:12 (NIV) 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
On verse 12: Faith makes the impossible possible.
Hebrews 11:13 (NIV) 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
On verse 13: Sometimes you won’t see the fruit of your faith until long after you’ve left this earth.
Hebrews 11:14-15 (NIV) 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.
On verses 14-16: Living by faith means longing for something greater than what you have now and believing it’s on the way.
Hebrews 11:16 (NIV) 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
On verse 16b: God is proud of you when you live by faith.
Hebrews 11:17-19 (NIV) 17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
On verses 17-19: Living by faith sometimes means doing things that don’t make sense to us. It’s trusting that somehow God will show up in a miraculous way when we move forward.
Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me what faith looks like. Now that others who came before me have modeled it for me, may I model for those coming after me what living by faith looks like. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!