Summary: Faith can come at a high cost, it may take everything from you.
Hebrews: Chapter 11
November 23rd, 2008
Faith Hall of Fame
Heb 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Andrew was one of those guys that was just so happy all the time you almost wanted to smack him, you know? No matter what you said to him he would always smile. I am pretty sure you could punch him in the face and he would just give you a hug. He was possibly the most outgoing loving guy I have met in my life. He would walk up to total strangers give them a hug and tell them he loved them. He was just comfortable around people and he loved everybody. It was funny to hear him tell stories of things that got on his nerves because where a normal person might insult or demean a person that had upset them he would just talk about how he didn’t have the love for them that he should. My senior year of High School I was in an accountability group with some friends of mine from church. We got together every Friday night and young out, talked about life, and just encouraged each other. One of the guys in this group was Andrew. Andrew had just recently became a Christian and his faith was an incredible thing to see. He had an amazing passion for the kingdom of God. Day and night the only thing Andrew wanted to do was to be in God’s presence. Summer of our senior year we had just gotten back from a Christ in Youth conference. CIY is a powerful conference that really connects teenagers with God sometimes for the first time. They have dynamic music and great speakers and they work really hard to create an atmosphere where young teenagers will find a real relationship with God. We had been on this Spiritual high and really excited about life. For Andrew one conference was not enough. He wanted more. So he got signed up to go on another CIY trip with a different church a week after the one he went to with us. While he was gone our accountability group met together and all the guys stayed over at my house that night. The next morning we got a call from the youth minister. He asked me to get all the guys from our accountability group together to pray. They were trying to get a hold of Andrew but they hadn’t been able to yet. Apparently Friday night Andrew’s mom who was his best friend in the world had an asthma attack in her sleep and with no one around to help her she died before the paramedics could get there. We were all devastated. I remember thinking how hard it would be to see Andrew without that big loving smile on his face. They finally got a hold of the youth minister Andrew was with and they say him down to tell him that his mom had died and they were going to fly him back early to be with his family. The first words out of Andrew’s mouth were: “Well, God must want me to witness to someone on the plane.” His mother and best friend had just died without warning and when he finds out the first thing Andrew does is praises God and has faith that God has a plan through all of this. Can you imagine having such faith in God that tragedy didn’t even shake you? Do you have a faith like Andrew?
Heb 11:2 This is what the ancients were commended for. Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
What is faith? Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Does anyone remember what the word impossible means? Is this it is really hard to please God? No. Is this you can please God but only hypothetically? Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE-there is no way, there is nothing that you can do, it is impossible to please God. I want to break down a common lie from the world this morning. Especially with those who consider themselves intellectual people consider faith to be blind. They look at faith as an illogical belief in something despite a lack of evidence. Just because faith is being certain of what we do not see does not mean however that it is blind. Faith comes not from ignorance it comes from evidence. Faith is trust. Faith in God is merely trusting Him to be faithful to His word. This is not something that is done blindly. Throughout our lives we see God at work. We see His nature, we see proof of His existence and we believe. We have faith in God because we have experienced God and we know that He is real and the Bible is truly His inspired word to us. We do not believe in ignorance and our faith is not blind. Our faith is based on historical evidence, from the lives of real people. We have seen how God has worked the past. We have seen the things He has done and so our faith is not blind. Truthfully we have seen in our own lives the power that God has. We have felt His presence. We have felt Him pull on our hearts. We know that God is real for the universe serves as a witness to its creator.