by Charmain Hibberd
Marketing Assistant (Writer), CBN Europe
We live in a world where Superheroes are a thing.
Batman, Supergirl, Spiderman, Wonder Woman…all have extraordinary powers and the ability to transcend human capabilities to save and rescue humankind.
But, in reality, we know that these characters, though incredible are, well, fictional. They don’t really exist.
Thankfully, as Christians, we have a book full of real-life heroes who achieved great things for our God…
The Real Heroes
‘And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated – the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
(Hebrews 11:32-38 NIV)
The world was not worthy of them.
I don’t know about you but this line moves me. To think that my life carried so much significance that the very place that I called home was not worthy of me makes me want to live a life devoted to the kingdom of God.
Reading through the ‘hall of fame’ chapter of Hebrews 11 in the Bible makes me wonder what made the lives and faith of certain biblical figures so heroic?
The whole chapter makes it quite plain. Let’s look at a few of the names mentioned…
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
(Hebrews 11:7 NIV)
Noah did not know that a flood was coming but he was warned that he needed to prepare for one. Imagine what people must have said about him. He was building an ark for which no one knew the purpose. It’s not exactly the kind of endeavour you undertake for the fun of it, especially not on this kind of scale!
Yet Noah ploughed on with his purpose in holy fear of the one who had called him. He was deemed righteous because of his faith in God and what He had said.
To think that my life carried so much significance that the very place that I called home was not worthy of me makes me want to live a life devoted to the kingdom of God.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
(Hebrews 11:8-10 NIV)
Again, by faith.
Abraham did not know where he was going when he set off for the land that God had promised him, and yet he went anyway.
What a faith adventure! Packing up your whole family and all of your possessions and heading to a place that the Lord will show you. Imagine what these people would have said! Abraham and Sarah may have been asked where they were moving to, and their only answer would have been ‘wherever the Lord calls us’.
This takes faith that would challenge most of us who live in a need-to-know place of comfort.
And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
(Hebrews 11:11-12 NIV)
Once again, by faith.
Sarah knew that she did not have the physical means to see the promise of God fulfilled. She was well past child-bearing age and yet she stood on the promise that God gave her and believed that she could conceive and carry a child that would bear such significance in the kingdom.
Motivated by faith in the One who promised her, she believed and believed again – every day I can imagine – and took God at His word.
Some died in faith, still believing, not receiving. They didn’t know that God would come through for them but they believed in Him and that He would.
Let us be a people who take God at His word and have faith that He will do what He said He would, even though we don’t necessarily know.
People may mock, judge and ask difficult questions, but resolve to remain resolute, knowing that the One who promised is faithful to deliver.