What inspires you to walk by faith? God’s Word is clear that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17) But what types of Bible passages inspire you most to walk by faith in your daily life? Personally I have always been most inspired by reading examples of faith walkers. Much like Elisha was inspired by Elijah’s walk of faith, when I see others walking by faith, I find more courage to step out in faith myself.
This fact is the reason Hebrews 11 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. When we first began this weekly column we sought to gain an understanding of faith by examining Hebrews 11:1. Today I would like to draw your attention to Hebrews 11:2. “For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.” This verse really sets the stage for the balance of the chapter.
It is important to understand the phrase “obtained a good testimony.” Often today we use the term “obtained” to indicate something that is earned. However in Greek this entire phrase is one single word that simply means, “testimony” or “witness.” This verb is an aorist, passive, indicative form of the word, “martureo.” This simply means that because of the faith exhibited by the “elders” others gave testimony to the fact that these people were people of faith. In addition, those who gave testimony were inspired by the example of faith walking exhibited by the “elders.”
So, who were the “elders”? Beginning in verse 4 and continuing to the end of the chapter the author of Hebrews lays before us numerous examples of faith walking elders. Though many of their stories can be read in detail in the Old Testament, this chapter gives a brief summation of the faith examples. Every time I read through this chapter, I find myself challenged, encouraged, and compelled to walk by faith in a greater way than ever before. My prayer is that over the next several weeks as we consider the examples of faith walking in this chapter, you too will be motivated to walk by faith.
As we begin this journey through Hebrews 11 together, let me encourage you to do three things. 1. Ask the Lord to help you learn from the examples of walking by faith described in this chapter. 2. Ask the Lord to strengthen your own faith walk. 3. Ask the Lord to help you be an example of faith walking in the lives of other people around you.