Scripture: Hebrews 11 - The Faith Chapter - Five Quick Lessons of Faith.
Hebrews 11:7 - NOAH
The Bible says that Noah found favor in God's eyes because he lived right and favored God. The world was so full of sin that God wanted to wipe everything from the earth. But among the people there was a very faithful person, Noah. Noah was faithful, not perfect, for he loved wine. Noah got drunk in front of his sons. This story lets us know that even the most Godly people have weaknesses and can fall prey to temptation and sin. Our sins not only can affect us, but also family members and friends. But inspite of our weaknesses God can and will use us to lead family and friends that they may come unto Him and be saved.
God asked Noah to build an ark to preserve a remnant. Noah had faith, he believed in God and obeyed God's word to plan ahead. Noah's obedience took a lot of faith because God had told him he would have to wait 120 years before the flood waters came. As God's word is true, the flood waters came and Noah and his family were the only people who did not drown. Noah and his family had faith in God's word. Noah was faithful and patient and we know that God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him.
Hebrews 11:8-17 - ABRAHAM
God called Abraham to leave his country and start a new nation. Abraham couldn't understand at the time how God would bless the world through him and his family, but he trusted God to lead him to where he was suppose to go. Abraham left his home with his wife Sarah, nephew Lot and other family members and his servants. We learn from Abraham that it took a lot of faith to follow God's leading. Romans 4, says Abraham was saved because of his faith and not his works. Abraham is known as a man of faith, whose faith was counted as righteousness.
God had also told Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. Knowing that his wife was past child-bearing age, faith kept Abraham going until their promised son Isaac was born. Years later it would prove Abraham's faith in God that he was willing to sacrifice Isaac as God had asked. The story of Abraham teaches us to have unconditional faith in God. It also teaches that as we talk to God in prayer, know that He is always listening, and we should always be ready to hear and obey when He speaks back to us. God may not always come when we want Him to, but He is always on time. That which God promised to Abraham didn't come over night, it was many years before it came to pass. So whenever we put our trust in God and believe Him for what He has promised, He is always faithful.
Genesis 37 - JOSEPH
As a young boy Joseph was given a couple of dreams by God to let him know that he had big plans on his life. Although he didn't know how God would bring it to pass, he trusted the Lord to work. Joseph was hated by his brothers because of the favor their father showed him. The brothers' jealousy made them throw Joseph into a pit and when a traveling caravan passed by they sold him into slavery for twenty pieces of silver. Joseph was carried into Egypt where he found favor in the house of Potiphar. Joseph was a handsome young man and when he ignored sexual advances from Potiphar's wife, she falsely accused him of trying to rape her and he was sent to prison. In prison Joseph remained faithful to the God he loved and God was faithful to him. God was always able to achieve glory through Joseph despite the difficulties.
After spending a couple of years in prison, Joseph was called to interpret the dreams of the Pharaoh. When those dreams came to pass exactly as God had given them to Joseph, Pharaoh placed Joseph second in command in all of Egypt. Through every test Joseph never doubted God. Through prosperity, he never forgot God. Eventually Joseph saw the fulfillment of the dreams God had given him and as his brothers bowed down before him, he was faithful in knowing that what they had meant for evil, God meant for good. The story of Joseph teaches us that faith will enable us to live before God, not man. When we trust God with all our hearts, whether the situation seems good or bad, we know that God can do for us as He did for Joseph. He can also take us from the pit to the palace.
Hebrews 11:23-29 - MOSES
Moses was born to a Jewish family in a time when the Egyptian ruler had ordered all Jewish male babies born to be killed. Moses' mother was able to hide him for three months, but eventually she sent him down the river in a basket with a prayer that God would protect him. God did protect him and he was discovered by Pharaoh' daughter and raised up into royalty. God used the experiences Moses learned in the house of Pharaoh to help train him as a leader. One of the first acts of leadership of Moses was to walk away from his royal family and trust God to lead him in his life.
God showed Himself faithful to Moses by leading him to a family who taught him about God and his family heritage. In God's timing and provisions, Moses went back to Egypt and demanded the Pharaoh to let the people of God go free from slavery. Moses stood strong in his faith knowing that God would do a mighty work. God's mighty work came in the form of ten plagues against the Egyptians because of Pharaoh's unwillingness to let God's people go. When God's will came to pass, Moses again stood strong as a leader and quickly lead the people of Israel out of Egypt to the land that God had promised them.
Moses shared an intimate relationship with God that was built on faith. Moses was not perfect so he made many mistakes, but he loved God. Moses often complained and made excuses for his failures, but God used him to accomplish his plans and purposes. When God calls us to do some things, we may think that they can't be done but God says, "Yes, they can." He will help us achieve whatever He calls us to do when we believe and rely on Him.
Hebrews 11:30, Numbers 13 - JOSHUA & CALEB
When the Children of Israel reached the edge of the land promised by God, Moses sent twelve spies to inspect the land. Ten of the spies brought back discouraging reports of giants and impenetrable walls. Two spies brought back encouraging news of great natural beauty and wealth. Those two spies were Joshua and Caleb. Joshua and Caleb had the one thing that set them apart from the other spies. They had faith in the promise of God. They had faith that God would help them take their Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey. God had promised the land and all they had to do was go in and possess it. Even though the nations occupying the land seemed mighty, God was on their side and He is Almighty.
Because of unbelief in the promises of God, all the Israelites over twenty years old except Joshua and Caleb died out as they journeyed the forty years in the wilderness. Joshua and Caleb were the only two who had left Egypt and were allowed into their great land of promise. This story teaches us that in life we have one of two choices. We can let panic and fear make us lose our chance to enter into our promised inheritance or we can have the same faith and belief in God as Joshua and Caleb. Faith gives us the assurance of victory and the attitude that we can accomplish whatever God wants us to.
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