Daily Devotion, September 29, 2020 - The Heroes of Faith

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion: September 29, 2020
Hebrews 11:1-31
Weekly Theme: Faithfulness
Today: Heroes of the Faith

I was fortunate to have known three out of four of my grandparents as a child and was 21 when the first of my grandparents, my Granddaddy, died. They were all people of faith and endured situations and circumstances I cannot fathom, to include the Great Depression and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919. My Grandmama “Deon” was widowed at 50 and lost her two sons when they were very young adults, all within a ten year period. My Grandmama Spence outlived all but one of her six children and outlived her husband by 19 years. Obviously, these two ladies suffered many challenges and much loss in their lives but despite these circumstances, they had such resolve and peace during difficult times. I often marveled at their tremendous faith in God. While they each expressed their faith in different ways, it was obvious their faith in God sustained them through such difficulties.

In our reading today, the unknown author of Hebrews provides us with a beautiful definition of faith accompanied by examples of what has often been referred to as the Faith Hall of Fame. The definition of faith in this passage is “the substance pf things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. In verse 2 we are told that it is by faith that we understand the very word of God who "spoke creation" into being. God, whom we cannot physically see, spoke things into existence that we can see. The things that we see were made of God, by God, from something we cannot see by someone we cannot see. The definition of faith is followed by a list of those who are included in the “Faith Hall of Fame” to include Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah who all died before receiving the promises but were assured that the promises would be fulfilled and confessed this belief to others. Other patriarchs of the faith who are mentioned include: Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses who faced and overcame many challenges of their faith. Although this was a patriarchal culture two imperfect women are also named: Sarah (already mentioned above) who initially laughed when God told her she was going to bear a son in her 90s, and Rahab, a harlot, who protected and received with peace the spies during the fall of the walls of Jericho. These were all people whose faith was sustained through the grace of God and were able to endure and lead others in enduring some very difficult challenges and times.

Who are the heroes of faith in your life? I have named my grandmothers as examples from my childhood because they endured so much loss during their life, but placed their faith and hope in God to see them through. Their faith in God was quietly put on display for our family to see and has had a profound impact in my own faith journey. They also raised their children to place their faith and trust in God and I thank God every day for my two faithful parents. For my parents and my grandparents and all of those mentioned in the book of Hebrews, their faith was never about being in the faith hall of fame. It was about believing in God, although they could not see God, and trusting that God would surround them with love and give them peace. They illustrated for me that faith is a substance made up of things that we cannot see but that we experience when we know and believe in God whom we cannot see physically but whose strong presence is felt always, even in the most difficult times.

Dear God, thank you for Your Word which gives us wonderful examples of faith and for a legacy of faith from my grandparents and parents who showed me what it means to have trust and faith in You. Help me to embrace your presence daily, no matter what the circumstances, so that others may see Your glory and experience Your grace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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