Some of the heroes of faith in the Bible are listed in Hebrews 11. It is one of the most encouraging chapters in the Bible.
In this post, we will briefly survey this list and pull some power packed lessons to apply to our faith walk and practical life.
Here we go…
What does Hebrews 11 say about faith?
The primary questions that God asks us each day are:
- Do you trust me?
- How much do you trust me?
Hebrews 11 tells us a few things about faith:
- The first requirement of faith is to believe that God exists.
- The second requirement of faith is to seek God.
- Faith is being sure of something you have never seen.
- Faith pleases God.
- Finally, faith requires looking for God’s reward for believing and seeking him.
Who are the heroes of Hebrews 11?
There are a large number of heroes and heroines of faith in the Bible. Even the writer of Hebrews said they were too many to list in this letter.
But Hebrews chapter 11 is like a table of contents to start with. This heroes of faith list has been given the name “Hall of Faith”.
List of heroes of faith in the Bible
There are 16 named heroes of faith in Hebrews 11.
But this number does not include those whose lives and fates were described by Paul.
Here is the list of faithful Bible characters who were named in Hebrews 11.
Unknown and unnamed heroes of faith in the Bible
The writer of Hebrews realized that space was running out to list names so he decided to started grouping the characters by describing the heroes of faith. He ends the list with three groups:
- The Prophets
- Women who receive their dead raised to life
- Tortured, jeered, flogged, chained, imprisoned, stoned, sawed in two, killed by the sword, destitute, persecuted, mistreated
Spiritual lessons from the heroes of faith in the Bible
The book of Hebrews was written to people who were growing weary in their faith.
They lived at a time when they were mistreated for their faith. Who wouldn’t get discouraged under these conditions?
The writer wanted to encourage their hearts.
This is why the heroes of faith are listed. To remind them of the testimony of those who had gone before.
The writer wanted them to remember those experiences and keep pushing forward knowing that there was a bigger picture and greater reward.
Keep this background in mind as you review the rest of these lessons.
Heroes of faith in the Bible believed the impossible
Whatever has never been done before is almost always called impossible.
But when it comes to God, there is nothing in your imagination that God cannot make happen.
Noah had never seen rain. In fact, up to that time in history, it had never rained.
He had no point of reference. But his faith made him believe that if God said it, there was no way for it not to happen.
Heroes of faith in the Bible trusted God (with little doubt mixed in some times)
Sarah is one of two women of faith mentioned in the list. There is no doubt that she believed God and trusted Him.
It takes faith to obey God when He says to get up and go to no place in particular.
And it takes faith to move from place to place, no stability for decades.
But every now and then, heroes of faith fell.
Sarah waited over a decade for God to fulfill his promise and her faith waned a bit.
Her doubt and impatience led her to make some big mistakes and later she laughed in disbelief when God repeated his promises.
That will happen when God makes you wait for 25 years to fulfill his word.
It happens. Faith gets shaky and sometimes falls flat!
Thank God for grace!
Heroes of faith in the Bible knew God would not contradict himself
When God told Abraham that he should sacrifice his son Isaac, it seemed contradictory.
For years God had also told him that the son born from his loins would be one more step in the fulfillment of the promise.
But as he brought Isaac up the mountain, he reasoned that maybe God would raise Isaac from the dead, although nobody in the Bible had yet been raised.
Abraham knew that God had hundreds and thousands of ways to fulfill his promise no matter how weird the circumstances seemed.
If God makes you a promise, He will not fail to come through and He will not contradict himself.
God revealed the future to the heroes of faith in the Bible
God is in the business of protecting those who follow him.
One of the ways he does that is to open the curtains of things which are yet to come.
He did that for Joseph.
God revealed to Joseph that his descendants would leave Egypt. That promise was not fulfilled for about 12 generations. That’s about 400 years.
But Joseph believed God’s revelation so much that he gave instructions for what should happen to his bones when God showed up to deliver the Israelites from bondage.
Faith invites the attention of the enemy
Make no mistake, living by faith is not easy.
All thanks to the enemy of our souls.
All God wants is for us to believe. All Satan wants is for us not to believe.
And so as you seek to live by faith expect all kinds of trouble like you would not believe.
The enemy is always dispatching his minions to create havoc towards getting us to stop trusting God.
But hold on and hold fast. God has your back.
God fights the battle of heroes of faith
Despite the attacks of the enemy, he can never and will never win.
Because God fights for his own.
Moses would tell you of the battle at the Red Sea. Joshua would tell you of the battle at Jericho.
The Israelites did very little but they walked away in victory.
Practical lessons from the heroes of faith in the Bible
One of the best measures of faith is how it translates and transfers to real life. Faith is not just for the head and heart. It’s also for the hands and feet.
How did these Bible characters make their faith come alive in their lives?
Heroes of faith in the Bible showed faith by moving
Faith without works is dead.
When God called Abraham, the true test of his faith was his willingness to literally get up and go.
Abraham went out into the unknown without GPS, without a detailed strategic plan, and with little resources.
The only thing He had was God’s assurance that he would not be alone.
For a hero of faith, that’s enough.
Heroes of faith in the Bible kept looking forward in expectation
All the faith heroes had one thing in common – they kept looking forward.
When God makes promises, they are usually meant for the future.
In case you had not noticed, the future is not behind you.
If you wish to pursue starting a business or pursue studies, the next thing you should probably do is submit an application for a business license or a program of study.
That’s working in faith and expectations.
Heroes of faith in the Bible never looked back
There is always a reason not to go forward in faith.
There is a saying: whatever you are looking for, you will find.
The same thing applies to faith.
Unlike the children of Israel who complained and always wanted to go back, the heroes of faith had no such desire.
If they made a habit of dwelling on what they had left behind, so many chances to go back would present themselves.
For them going back was not an option so they saw no opportunities to return.
Since they only desired the things ahead of them, God empowered and strengthened them on their life’s journey.
Heroes of faith in the Bible had to delay gratification
When God makes a promise, you will have to wait…..
….and wait some more.
Moses could have been Pharaoh in Egypt.
He chose to delay accessing all of that wealth and prominence.
Instead, he endured homelessness and wondering in the wilderness with the Israelites.
Moses did this because of God’s promise of restoration.
Soon enough, he would have way more than what Egypt had to offer.
Have you been giving up things and sacrificing? Believing that God will reward you richly?
You’re in good company. Whatever you’re sacrificing for, waiting for, denying self for. It’s coming!
The heroes of faith replaced fear with faith
It is natural to be afraid. It’s only human.
But fear and faith just cannot exist in the same space.
They are like light and darkness. Oil and water.
The prophets like Daniel could not survive the lion’s den in fear.
The other prophets who were killed faced death with faith, knowing that those who hurt their bodies could not hurt their soul.
Sometimes it might seem like evil might be winning and that can lead to fear.
God’s promises are sure though. We can lean on them with confidence, with certainty, with assurance.
The heroes of faith made space to nurture faith when they trusted God.
Heroes of faith were imperfect people
I saved this lesson for last just so you know you would fit right in with this list of Bible heroes.
Rahab was a prostitute and a liar.
Moses was a murderer.
Sarah and Abraham were impatient (and liars too).
Gideon was a scardy cat.
Jacob was a deceiver.
Samson was a womanizer.
And let’s not get into David’s soap opera of a life.
My point is, these heroes of faith were regular people. Just like we are regular people today.
Yet, their trust in God made them stand out in the crowd. And God saw it fit for us to know their stories.
Final words on heroes of faith in the Bible
When you are no longer on the stage of life, what would you like to be remembered for?
If nothing else, I’d like to be remembered for my faith?
If the Bible were to be rewritten, I’d sure like to be listed in this hall of faith!
These heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 continue to teach us.
They continue to encourage us to trust God.
I hope you will leave powerful stories of faith for others to be uplifted to better spiritual places.
Leave a legacy of faith.