When I hear people talking about “The Hall of Fame,” my mind immediately goes to Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame. This Hall of Fame includes baseball legends of mythical proportion such as Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, and of course, Tom Seaver, (my favorite player growing up). There is another Hall of Fame even more prestigious than Major Leagues Baseball’s Hall of Fame. This one is found in the book of Hebrews and is a list of unlikely people such as Moses, and Noah, and Rahab, (a prostitute, by the way) who all did some extraordinary things by faith. We see them remembered “by faith Moses…by faith Noah…by faith Rahab.” Faith is defined for us in Hebrews as being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see; but it also goes on to say that without this faith, it is impossible to please God.
Perhaps we look at these giants of faith and wonder if they obeyed God because they would see the “end product” of their faithfulness. The end of Hebrews 11 says, “Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world.” (MSG) These people of faith were committed to the promise of things yet to come.
As we begin the work of starting a new church in Asheville this coming summer, our family is challenged daily to live by faith. Perhaps, just like these heroes of the faith, we will not see the impact made in Asheville on this side of heaven.
Are you by faith, doing the things God has called you out to do with no promise from God of ever seeing the end result here in this world? Paul writes in Romans 11 that we are to walk by faith and not by sight. We are to live our lives, not only looking backwards in history to what Christ has done for us, but also forward to what God has yet in store for us to do. Our acts of obedience may not make any list, but we are to walk by faith knowing the God of this Universe is in control and is orchestrating future events for His glory. We need to look forward by faith alone as God providentially directs our feet – even in the midst of the grief and hurt and challenges and temptations that come our way.
Know this, we may not see the completion of the things He has called us out to do by faith, but we will someday see the rewards of our obedience in heaven. We will be possibly be doing this right beside those same people listed in this Hall of Fame of faith. What a thought.