Faith – What an interesting word that is! In the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, the Bible defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is not something that we can hold in our hands, see with our eyes, or even smell with our nose; yet it is something that we all exercise everyday of our lives. The exercise of faith pleases God. To me, one of the most interesting things about faith is that while we cannot hold it, touch it, smell it, or see it, we can possess it. It is something that fluctuates in our lives. It is possible to have multiple different amounts of faith. One day we may have a little bit of it, and on other days, we may have a great deal of it.
Another interesting thing about faith is how it is used varies from person to person. Faith is ever more interesting when it is lived out! Hebrews chapter eleven is known as the great hall of faith. God reveals to us in this wonderful chapter of the New Testament many distinct aspects of faith that were demonstrated in the lives of multiple Old Testament saints. As this chapter unfolds, it goes into detail about the tremendous amount of faith that they had. I completely understand Abel being included in this chapter. Enoch being here makes complete sense to me. Noah–of course you must include him. Abraham–it was his faith that made him the father of many nations. You will also see Moses in this chapter; and Moses’ faith was amazing, but it is verse thirty-two that makes me scratch my head a little bit, if I am being completely transparent here. It is this verse that makes mention of six different individuals and one group collectively. It is the first four people mentioned here that gives me great pause. I really had to stop and consider for a few moments to find out how these guys made into the Great Hall of Faith. Now, do not get me wrong; I take no issue with them being listed here. I am not questioning the Lord’s decision as to why they are getting mentioned. I am just being open in that it did take me a little bit to figure out the why.
When you read Judges 6:36-40, you will discover that Gideon had a faith that had to be tested before he would act. In Judges 4:1-9, we find that Barak had a faith that had to be reassured before he would go. Samson had to lose everything before he exercised his faith in Judges 16:20-31. Jephthah in Judges11:1-36 thought faith was something that had to be earned.
The conclusion I came to as to why these men are included here in Hebrews eleven is that God is willing to work with an imperfect faith, because apart from Christ there is no such thing as a perfect faith. An imperfect faith is better than no faith at all. An imperfect faith is better than a faith that quits. An imperfect faith is enough to please the Lord. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him.
Does God ever work with an imperfect faith? Yes, He does! How will you exercise your faith today?
May it be stretched for Him!