Who are the “Heroes of Faith”?

The term “Heroes of Faith” is a common term used to describe men and women in the Bible who trusted and obeyed God and paved the way for Jesus to enter the world and save us from our sins.  I feel it is important as we enter into this next year, to take a little bit to think about what made these men and women so great.  

Now more than ever before is the time to start walking by faith and not by sight.  Over the past year we have looked at how Jesus performed miracles by compassion, worship, wisdom, the Holy Spirit, prosperity and so much more.  But throughout all of these topics there is one thing that we have to remember…

6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Hebrews 11:6 KJV

By looking at these men and women we can see what a life of faith looks like.  Sometimes we hear people talk about living by faith, but it’s hard to see what that really means.  This series is all about the attributes and characteristics that make a person of faith pleasing to God. 

“Heroes of Faith” Defined

2 For by it [faith] the elders obtained a good report.

Hebrews 11:2 KJV

The term heroes of faith is one that Chrstians have created to describe the men and women that Hebrews 11 talks about.  These men and women could just as easily be called the elders of faith or any other term you want to give them.  They are men and women who learned how to obey and trust in God before they ever saw the results.  Some of them – like Abraham – never physically saw what he was looking for.  Even to this day we are still waiting for that city from heaven not made with human hands. 

Here is a list of some of these men and women outlined in Hebrews 11:

  • Abel (v4)
  • Enoch (v5)
  • Noah (v7)
  • Abraham (v8)
  • Isaac & Jacob (v9)
  • Sarah (v11)
  • Joseph (v22)
  • Moses (v23)
  • Rahab (v31)
  • And so many more (v32)

These men and women did as we are to do today.  We are called to live as they did as pilgrims in a land that is not our own. We are to walk by faith and not by sight. 

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

Hebrews 11:13-14 KJV

When God tells us to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).  THIS is what he means.  Live your life like you don’t belong here.  Like you are simply visiting this world with the one goal of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

When you become a christian, all things become new.  You are supposed to look, sound and act differently.  When Abel brought his sacrifice by faith, Cain from anger and jealousy killed his brother.  When Noah began to build the ark, people laughed and told him he was crazy.  It had never rained on earth prior to the flood!  Abraham left all without even knowing where his destination was.  He simply knew the first step.  

This is the faith that these men and women operated in.  This is the faith that we are supposed to operate in.  

Attributes of the “Heroes of Faith”

In coming posts we are going to break down each of these men and women and see what lessons they each have to tell us about walking by faith.  For now, however, I want to look at just three attributes that each of these men and women exhibited.  These are not the only three positive attributes, but these are the one I want to look at today.

Willing

Willing hearts are extremely important.  Think about Mary.  God was not going to force her.  She had to say here am I Lord use me.  

8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Isaiah 6:8 KJV

God couldn’t force any one of these people to do what He wanted them to do.  Each person had to be willing on their own to be used by God.  

Obedient

It is not good enough to simply be willing to go.  You have to actually go.  Many times we are afraid of this step.  We want to do what God tells us to, but then the question comes, “What if I’m not successful?”  “What happens if I fail?”

24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

Psalm 37:24 KJV

Failure is not possible with God.  You can make a mistake, but God’s mercies are new every morning and His grace is sufficient for me.  For me to fail God would have to fail and God cannot fail therefore I cannot fail. 

Faithfulness

So you are out of the boat.  You are walking by faith both willingly and obediently, but there is one more attribute that each of these men and women have that is extremely important – FAITHFULNESS.  

We see time and time again even as Abraham or Moses are used by God in extraordinary ways that times get tough.  These are the times to continue to be faithful in the things that you know to do.  

This is huge.  Sometimes we get lost in all the things we don’t know about, but God will not hold you accountable to things you don’t know only those that you do know.  Focus on being faithful in the day to day routine of your relationship with the Lord.  

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Matthew 6:34 KJV

Finishing Up

19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Isaiah 1:19-20 KJV

“Open your eyes and look from the place where you now stand.  North. South. East. West.  God has given you and me that land.”  

This is a line from a song, but think about it.  God told Abraham the same thing.  We are children of Abraham because of our covenant with God.  We can operate in a level of faith that the world isn’t familiar with, but it is going to take willingness, obedience to God’s Word and faithfulness to keep doing what we know to do even when we are tired.