This chapter should be called the Hall of Faith. Chapter 11 is like a parenthesis between chapter 10 & 12, giving many specific examples of those who believe with a faith that causes Christians to hold on and not lose hope in the face of persecution and trials:
Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain
Enoch was taken to heaven without death because of his faith
Noah prepared an ark for the salvation of his household by faith
Abraham packed up and left on the word of the Lord without knowing where he was going
Sarah by faith received the ability to conceive beyond the proper time of life
Abraham was by faith prepared to sacrifice Isaac, his only son
Well, you have read all the rest. I was encouraged by reading all these in one spot like this, knowing God recognizes these people for their faith. It’s not enough just to tell their story in other places in the Bible, but they are again recognized here as an encouragement to us. What is faith?
11:1 – What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. 2 God gave his approval to people in days of old because of their faith. 3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.
Rewards? Not that we should seek the rewards, but God says it:
6 – And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him (NAS).
Our reward may not be what we expect, but our faith will be rewarded in even better ways:
39-40 – And these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God ha provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
May this be a day of faith for you! Instead of praying for guidence or wisdom, try praying for more trust – more faith. peace,