Unlocked by Faith

True believers accept God's message, relying on certainty for what we cannot see and looking beyond what can be seen or felt. The Bible holds many stories about people who had faith in God and were "Unlocked" as a result.

Unlocked by Faith
Photo by Zac Durant / Unsplash

By Mark Angelo Tanicala

The "Hall of Faith" is another name for the book of Hebrews chapter 11. When you think of the hall of fame, where the awards are reserved for the top athletes or famous people who achieved something great. Related to this, Hebrews 11 tells the stories of some of the greatest believers in the Old Testament. Their stories tell us of the trials and challenges in their lives and witness faith put into practice as they face them.

The first part of Hebrews 11 explains what it means to have faith, “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”. True believers accept God's message, relying on certainty for what we cannot see and looking beyond what can be seen or felt. The older generations that perished in the distant past, such as Abel, Abraham, Moses, and many more, reached God's warm approval by practicing this kind of faith. They were able to recognize God's majesty through their faith in him and his power.

The Old Testament holds many stories about people who had faith in God and were "Unlocked" as a result. Abel offered a better sacrifice than his brother Cain did. Despite the fact that Abel was killed by his brother, he continued to emphasize the value of having a pure heart. Enoch aspired to be close to God and to the idea that God is a compassionate creator. Noah acknowledged God's power in both judgment and salvation, received God's blessing, became the rightful heir to the righteousness that is consistent with faith, and accepted God's message. He followed God even if others said it was unwise of him to do so.

Faith reveals many aspects of a person; for instance, the ancients displayed their faith by placing their trust in God's plan. Faith is responsive. By faith, Abraham responded when he was called. Abraham was willing to set out on a journey with no idea of his destination, proving that Faith gives courage. Abraham and his sons also lived in tents, showing that Faith endures. They did not consider the land to be theirs, but they acted in faith, trusting that God would keep his promise. Faith is dedicated and sacrificial. Abraham was instructed to sacrifice his son Isaac because faith requires sacrifice. The Lord had assured him that through Isaac, the promised offspring, grace would start to be established. Abraham was dedicated to carrying out God's will. He held fast to the truth of what God had said and believed that He was able to do everything, including raising the dead. The offspring of Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph eagerly expected the day when they would have their nation and flourish under God's gracious rule.

Faith also gives hope to people, leading them to trust in God to help them in their challenges and tribulations. Faith removes fear in the heart. Moses' parents decided not to be terrified of the king's decree and kept him hidden for three months after his birth. Our opinions are shaped by our faith. By making a number of significant decisions out of faith, Moses joined the people of God. Moses gave up physical pleasures, material gain, and social status out of faith. And through his faith, he came to see that shame for Christ's sake was more valuable. Faith helps us see more clearly. Moses fixed his gaze on heaven rather than the earth, seeing the Spirit there. We focus on the long-term rather than the short-term, on the everlasting reward rather than our short-term gain. Faith acknowledges our dependency. The Israelites observed the Passover out of pure faith. Even though the demands were expensive, the ceremony was unusual, and the instructions were odd, they followed them exactly. Then, in a display of obedient and reliant faith, the people made it through the Red Sea.

Jericho served as a representation of Canaan's unstoppable power, but once the city's walls had been encircled for seven days, they were torn down. Faith is unafraid and diverse. Rahab put her confidence in the God of the spies, welcomed the spies because she trusted in God's might. In the preceding verses, other great and faithful servants of God from the Old Testament showed their faith in God while facing problems in their lives. They showed that by faith in God, they conquered the challenges they faced in this world. They “Unlocked” themselves. They opened up their hearts and souls to God, put their trust in him and followed through his words and instructions.

Though the people written about in Hebrews 11 faced difficult experiences, God did not leave them, and God’s promises were received, and God’s almighty power was witnessed by many of the ancient ones. The Hall of Faith has many great examples that we can learn from as Christians of the current period. All of them had one thing in common, and that was by “Unlocking” their Faith in God’s miraculous and wonderful blessings. They accepted and trusted God’s plan. They displayed their "Unlocked" Faith, which enabled them to assess the present and look ahead in times of adversity. These brave people were given the power to endure suffering. They transformed excruciating suffering into glorious success. It pushed toward something greater with effort. All of us should be aware and put into our hearts and minds that as we are “Unlocked” by Faith, we surrender our lives to God and trust in his plan. Though challenges, trials, and persecution may await our future, God will always be on our side, and we will become victorious.