“Welcome to our newest exhibit: the Hall of Faith. I’m Lynn, and I’m here to assist you as you enjoy the exhibits. So if you have any questi …”
“Whoa. I thought this was a hall of fame.”
“Nope. The Hall of Faith. These men and women showed great faith, taking God at His word. In fact, fame was the last thing they were after. For example, take the exhibit on the right. That’s Abraham. God called him to step away from all that was familiar to him and go.”
“It’s on the stand in front of the exhibit. The Bible is open to the place where God said, ‘Go from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.’ So Abraham took God at His word and stepped out.”
“This other exhibit looks like the same guy, but he’s about to kill some kid. Looks like he lost whatever faith he had.”
“Quite the opposite. Years later, after what we saw in the first exhibit, God put Abraham to a test. That’s Isaac, the son God promised him, and God told Abraham to sacrifice his son on an altar.”
“We can look back and see that God was testing him, but Abraham didn’t know that—yet He knew God well enough to trust Him. If God told him to do something, he trusted that God knew what He was doing.”
“I imagine this kid had a different opinion.”
“Read what the Bible says on the stand.”
“Then he said, ‘Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from me.'”
“Think of what that experience did for Isaac’s own faith. He saw how much his father loved and trusted God. He also saw how God responds to our faith.”
“Are all the exhibits like this?”
“Each one is quite different and unique, but they share one thing in common: they took God at his word and trusted him. Walk through the exhibits and you’ll see men who conquered kingdoms by faith in God or displayed God’s power in some incredible way. We also have some displays that are not for the squeamish: people dying by the sword; some cut in half; others being grossly mistreated.”
“What does that have to do with faith?”
“They all took God at His word and trusted him. No matter what they experienced—great victory or horrible death—they took God at His word and trusted Him.”
“You keep saying that: they took God at His Word and trusted Him.”
“Notice that every exhibit includes a stand with a Bible. That reminds us that God gave them direction to go somewhere, build an ark, speak in His name, whatever … and they did it. That’s the essence of faith. It’s not simply believing something we think is true or want to be true; faith is grounded in God’s word to us.”
“Uh … that guy over there being sawn in half. Doesn’t look like his faith helped him any.”
“Quite the opposite. Even Abraham, who didn’t die because of his faith, did not fully receive at that time what was promised. Hebrews 11 says, ‘These all died in faith, although they had not received the things that were promised. But they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth.'”
“They saw something greater waiting for them.”
“Exactly. Hebrews 11 again: ‘But they now desire a better place—a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.'”
“This is an impressive hall, but you’ve still got some work to do. There are several empty displays.”
“That display right there … is yours. God wants you to trust Him and take Him at His word just like these other men and women did.”
“Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb. 11:6).
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This post supports the study “The Basis for Confidence” in Bible Studies for Life and YOU.
Join Lynn Pryor and Chris Johnson as they discuss this topic.
Looking forward to this study!! So excited to be teaching about the life of Abraham! It follows I John and so appropriate!!
Great illustration. I do enjoy your podcasts, and especially the teaching moments. I appreciate your insight and Chris also. I really like when you have writers join you. You get a little feedback from why they wrote like they did.
Good John, Lynn, and Chris. I enjoyed the podcasts, and I look forward to this study. Remain faithful.