Summary: In all of Scripture there are few passages more inspiring than ten verses we’ll explore in this particular message.
Faith For Tough Times
8.20.14 Chester’s FBC, Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A In all of Scripture there are few passages more inspiring than ten verses we’ll explore in this particular message.
1 The valiant exploits, overcomers, conquering victors who marched forward in faith are so numerous that the author said, “for time will fail me.”
a He doesn’t have enough time, breathe, parchment, or ink to testify to all the adventures of these great heros & heroines of faith.
b The text doesn’t go into great detail with each story, or even one story, but points to the faith of the believer over the miraculous.
2 In the passage, not every believer had their Jericho walls falling down.
a Some didn’t live to tell of their victory, deliverance . . . in fact, sometimes their faith brought death.
b In this list, “the Joshuas’, Rahabs’, Gideons’, etc.,” are in the same list as the “others” (v.36).
Hebrews 11:36 (NASB) 36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment.
aa Others who didn’t have walls come down, rivers part, giants slain, . . . no cute Sunday Schools for the “others.”
bb Not all got delivered, some died (very horrific deaths.)
B The author samples examples of faith from three different periods of Israel’s history; Judges, Kingdom, Prophets.
1 The author will not give great detail in the passage, but instead chooses to use very broad strokes, moves in generalities.
a He will not spend much ink on talking about titles, offices, salutations, or social class.
b He will speak to these men & women’s faith, how it manifested when hope, courage, where in short supply.
aa Faith is trusting completely in God’s Word, unconditional confidence in what He says, strictly on the basis that God has said it.
2 There are only true options (regardless if we are in good or bad times) & those are:
a We trust what God says or we trust our own intellect, instincts, and attitudes.
aa Our own way is the way of unbelief;
bb God’s way is the way of faith.
b The faith in Hebrews 11 does not ask questions, for signs, or miraculous direction.
aa Looking for signs, wonders, explanations so we can trust God is not faith.
bb Anything that demands more than God’s Word is doubt, not faith.
cc Sometimes, He gives explanations/reasons for His Word, but His isn’t obligated to give them . . . faith doesn’t require them.
c John 20:29 (NASB) 29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed."
aa Faith is the opposite of human nature (seeing is believing); in faith, believing is seeing.
bb Faith often requires us to accept from God what seems unreasonable/illogical.
C The Hebrews of the NT were trying to take the voyage of the New Covenant (Saved by grace through faith) will keeping their boats tied to the dock of the Old Covenant (religion & ritual).
1 The author is showing his readers that God’s faithful followers in the OT were not like them.
a When the OT faithful decided for God, they were all in for Him because they had the right view of who God is.
aa Right faith is based on right theology.
bb Faith believes and obeys God because faith knows that God cannot lie, make a mistake, do wrong, be defeated, surpassed. . . a God like this can be trusted.
b J.B. Phillips, Your God is Too Small, suggests a person’s attitude toward God is what sets the limit on their faith.
aa If we have a tiny god, we should not trust him.
bb Only the true God, the great sovereign, loving, merciful, faithful, omniscient, omnipotent, and hold God of Scripture, deserves trust.
2 Faith in God helps us face the tough times of life.
a As faith encounters opposition/difficulty, it makes something out of those who live by it.
b MacCarther says, “Perhaps the supreme mark of true faith is courage.”
aa It’s not hard to trust God when your belly’s full and your wallets stacked.
bb Most of the people around us are Christians, our faith doesn’t cost us anything.
cc For a Jew to become a Christian in the first century was always costly. (Friends, family, synagogue privileges, job, social status, community respect, sometimes their very lives.)
dd What would be the limit of how far your faith would go? What price would you be willing to pay to keep/show your faith?
c Faith is proved when it faces disaster, trial, persecution, and ridicule —and still stands unwavering.
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bb How many of us would have relinquished, denounced our faith to save ourselves, sons, daughters? Homes?