Faith to Live and Faith to Die
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (Hebrews 11:32-34)
Hebrews, chapter 11, is what we call the faith hall of fame. It's an entire chapter dedicated to the accounts of men and women who accomplished great things because of their faith in God. The chapter lists people of renown like Gideon, David, and the prophets who have stories of such heroics that they are still inspiring many today.
Some of the amazing feats listed in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews include: subduing kingdoms, stopping the mouths of lions, quenching fire, escaping the sword of death, and tremendously essential victories in battles against evil.
These stories are thrilling, but Christians often stop here and don’t read on to the heroic feats describes in verses 36 and 37.
And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented.
Believers live in faith, and they should also die in faith. Not every Christian who died in a lion's den or was killed by the sword did so because they experienced a faith failure. Their martyrdoms are heroic stories of faith, as well.
Practical Application – We must decide to live in faith for today and die in faith when the time comes. Let our entire lives be known for how we stood in faith.
2 Kings 4:36; Judges 7:24