When is the last time that you read a really great biography of someone who lived an exemplary life of faith in God? Individuals who were able to live courageously and joyfully in spite of real hardship and persecution? People who were called by God to stand up for their beliefs, to share the Gospel in foreign cultures, to speak out against evil and corruption, or to walk through hostile doors in order to defend the truth? Maybe you have read the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Billy Graham, Jim or Elizabeth Elliot, or Mother Teresa. Perhaps you have read about Amy Carmichael, William Wilberforce, George Muller, Brother Andrew, Martin Luther, Hudson Taylor or St. Augustine. Throughout the centuries, there have always been those people who chose to listen to God and to step out by faith to do the things that He had prepared for them to accomplish. Their stories continue to bring new courage and inspiration to everyone who reads them.
Isn’t it interesting that the writer of Hebrews singles out only a few examples of people who lived “by faith” so long ago but clearly realizes that there are multitudes of other “unsung heroes” who really could have been included? Apparently the one thing that all of them had in common is that they truly believed that God would keep His promises. For them, this meant the coming of the Messiah – the One who would liberate them and set them free from the tyranny of oppression and bondage. The One who would bring peace and security for the people of God. The One that the prophets said would reign forever. Counting on this, they were willing to endure whatever temporary difficulties that came into their lives. They were committed to remain “Faith-Full.”
“Dear friends, we are already God’s children but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as He is pure.” (I John 3: 2 – 3) When your biography is written, will people say that this is what kept you going?