Hebrews 11 is one of the Bible's crown jewels. With a stunning sweep of Old Testament characters and events, it presents a panorama of what it means to follow the Lord in bold, saving faith. We are given examples ranging from Adam to the prophets, with Noah, Abraham, Moses and many others included. Hebrews 11 is truly the "Hall of Fame" of faith!
What are the characteristics of this faith that is so commended to us? The first verse gives us the definition that guides us through the rest of the chapter: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
Each of the people named in Hebrews 11 provides an example of what it means to abide in hope, to reach and stretch out for the promises of God - even when such things remained invisible and incomplete in their lives. In fact, those mentioned in this chapter died still in faith, before realizing the full extent of the promises. Yet what they worked and strove for came about in the person of Jesus Christ and the new covenant, and we are the recipients of those blessings!
This "great cloud of witnesses" (12:1) should inspire us with hope and faith ourselves!