Key Verse: They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect. – Hebrews 11:37-40
The Bible is full of stories of people who put their lives on the line trusting God’s promises. This chapter, known as the Faith Hall of Fame, highlights a handful of their amazing stories. These heroes endured unimaginable consequences for their decision to remain faithful to God. For them, faith was not some sentimental source of peace or an occasional part of their lives. Their faith in God was at the core of who they were. They witnessed great miracles first hand, but they often paid a high personal price for their faithfulness to God. Through it all, they were convinced that remaining true to God’s call was more important than their own agenda or personal comfort.
These things are still happening in our day. Around the world, thousands of Christians suffer and die each year because of their decision to take a stand for their faith. Chances are, most of us will never face such threats. For most of us, the greatest threat we’ll face is being ignored, laughed at or thought of as a religious freak. Whether the threats are big or small, allowing God to use us by going public with our faith is a risk we’re all called to take. How can you go public today?
Prayer: Lord, I want to go public. Please give me the courage to be bold in my faith today. Protect and comfort those who are suffering for your sake. Thank You for the example and faith of so many who have come before us.
Jonathan Wolfgang | Pastor of Community Life