When your faith needs stirring, Hebrews 11
1Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that
something is real even if we do not see it. 2Faith is the reason we
remember great people who lived in the past.
3It is by faith we understand that the whole world was made by Godís
command so what we see was made by something that cannot be seen.
4It was by faith that Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain
did. God said he was pleased with the gifts Abel offered and called Abel
a good man because of his faith. Abel died, but through his faith he is
5It was by faith that Enoch was taken to heaven so he would not die.
He could not be found, because God had taken him away. Before he was
taken, the Scripture says that he was a man who truly pleased God. 6Without faith no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must
believe that he is real and that he rewards those who truly want to find
7It was by faith that Noah heard Godís warnings about things he
could not yet see. He obeyed God and built a large boat to save his
family. By his faith, Noah showed that the world was wrong, and he
became one of those who are made right with God through faith.
8It was by faith Abraham obeyed Godís call to go to another place
God promised to give him. He left his own country, not knowing where he
was to go. 9It was by faith that he lived like a foreigner in the
country God promised to give him. He lived in tents with Isaac and
Jacob, who had received that same promise from God. 10Abraham was
waiting for the city
that has real foundationsóthe city planned and built by God.
11He was too old to have children, and Sarah could not have children.
It was by faith that Abraham was made able to become a father, because
he trusted God to do what he had promised. 12This man was so old he was
almost dead, but from him came as many descendants as there are stars in
the sky. Like the sand on the seashore, they could not be counted.
13All these great people died in faith. They did not get the things
that God promised his people, but they saw them coming far in the future
and were glad. They said they were like visitors and strangers on earth.
14When people say such things, they show they are looking for a country
that will be their own. 15If they had been thinking about the country
they had left, they could have gone back. 16But they were waiting for a
better countryóa heavenly country. So God is not ashamed to be called
their God, because he has prepared a city for them.
17It was by faith that Abraham, when God tested him, offered his son
Isaac as a sacrifice. God made the promises to Abraham, but Abraham was
ready to offer his own son as a sacrifice. 18God had said, "The
descendants I promised you will be from Isaac."
19Abraham believed that God could raise the dead, and really, it was as
if Abraham got Isaac back from death.
20It was by faith that Isaac blessed the future of Jacob and Esau.
21It was by faith that Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each one of
Josephís sons. Then he worshiped as he leaned on the top of his
22It was by faith that Joseph, while he was dying, spoke about the
Israelites leaving Egypt and gave instructions about what to do with his
23It was by faith that Mosesí parents hid him for three months
after he was born. They saw that Moses was a beautiful baby, and they
were not afraid to disobey the kingís order.
24It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called
the son of the king of Egyptís daughter. 25He chose to suffer with Godís
people instead of enjoying sin for a short time. 26He thought it was
better to suffer for the Christ than to have all the treasures of Egypt,
because he was looking for Godís reward. 27It was by faith that Moses
left Egypt and was not afraid of the kingís anger. Moses continued
strong as if he could see the God that no one can see. 28It was by faith
that Moses prepared the Passover and spread the blood on the doors so
the one who brings death would not kill the firstborn sons of Israel.
29It was by faith that the people crossed the Red Sea as if it were
dry land. But when the Egyptians tried it, they were drowned.
30It was by faith that the walls of Jericho fell after the people had
marched around them for seven days.
31It was by faith that Rahab, the prostitute, welcomed the spies and
was not killed with those who refused to obey God.
32Do I need to give more examples? I do not have time to tell you
about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. 33Through their faith they defeated kingdoms. They did what was right,
received Godís promises, and shut the mouths of lions. 34They stopped
great fires and were saved from being killed with swords. They were
weak, and yet were made strong. They were powerful in battle and
defeated other armies. 35Women received their dead relatives raised back
to life. Others were tortured and refused to accept their freedom so
they could be raised from the dead to a better life. 36Some were laughed
at and beaten. Others were put in chains and thrown into prison. 37They
were stoned to death, they were cut in half, and they were killed with
swords. Some wore the skins of sheep and goats. They were poor, abused,
and treated badly. 38The world was not good enough for them! They
wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and holes in the
39All these people are known for their faith, but none of them
received what God had promised. 40God planned to give us something
better so that they would be made perfect, but only together with us.