Today we come to one of the more familiar chapters in the Bible, Hebrews 11, commonly referred to as the “hall of faith.” In it we see references to many of the major characters of the Old Testament such as Noah, Abraham and Moses, as well as several lesser-known individuals such as Barak and Jepthah. All had lives that at one point or another had exemplified faith, i.e trusting in God and His Word even though in many cases the evidence of that faith is unseen (verse 1).
This begs the question of how many of us truly live lives of faith? Sure, we have faith in the creation story, as mentioned in verse 3, or the faith required for salvation. But how about beyond that? How often do we only want to trust in things that we can see- things that “make sense”?
I’m reading a book by Charles Swindoll, host of the radio program, “Insight for Living.” In it he tells the story of a man who was involved with the Navigators, a parachurch organization whose stated purpose is evangelism. This particular man was involved with the organization at its headquarters in Colorado but felt called to start a new satellite work in Uganda. As a husband and father of several young children, he wrestled with the decision to move to a place he knew nothing about. Feeling it was God’s will, he flew with his family to Kenya, left his family there while he took a survey trip to Uganda alone. He drove into a small town one night and inquired at a hotel if they had any open rooms. He was told there was “one bed” left and pointed in the direction of a particular room. Upon opening the door, he found that there were indeed two beds but one was already taken. He was going to be sharing the room with a complete stranger! The man went to his bed, got down on his knees and told the Lord that he was scared and prayed that God would be with him and confirm for him that act of faith was truly His will. Shortly thereafter, the door opened up and in walked the man who he would be sharing the room with. After some brief introductions, our American missionary was asked what he was doing in Uganda, to which he responded that he was involved with a ministry called the Navigators. As soon as he said that name, the 6’5” African man began to laugh out loud, threw his arms around the missionary and said, “Praise God!” He then pulled out a stack of Bible verse memory cards, with the name “Navigators” stamped on the bottom and explained that he had been praying for two years that God would send someone to him from that ministry. What a neat story and what a perfect example of living a life of real faith!