Hebrews 11:32-35 —“32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”
The power of faith is phenomenal. My congregation and I have been on a faith journey since the beginning of 2019, which has brought us, at the time of this writing, to the Book of Hebrews, the 11th chapter. I’ve been preaching faith, encouraging faith and endeavoring to build our most holy faith.
The passages of scripture in Hebrews 11:32 and following teach us about the faith to overcome. Faith can overcome anything! You’ve got to get this in your spirit, there is nothing too hard for faith. My mother, Mrs. Myrtis L. Adams, used to say: “Son, you can do whatever you put your mind to.” In essence, if you have the faith that it will happen, it will happen.
Faith is a force. Faith is power. Faith is profoundness. Faith is positivity and productivity. Faith is living out all of God’s promises. Faith is taking the risk when others tell you what you’re pursuing is impossible to obtain. Faith is believing it can be done when everyone around you tells you that it can’t. God challenges us to walk by faith and not by sight.
Faith empowers us to overcome any obstacle. I want you to think for a moment about something you need to overcome. Apply your faith. I want you to think about the biggest obstacle in your way. Apply your faith. I want you to think about the giants in your life that need to be removed. Apply your faith. The faith to overcome works in every situation!
The writer of Hebrews, commonly accepted as the Apostle Paul, speaks to a wandering group of believers in diaspora, with the purpose of encouraging them to tap into their faith to overcome. Paul reminds his readers of all the heroines and heroes of faith who have come before them and the multiplicity of obstacles they had to overcome. These biblical icons used their faith and “subdued kingdoms, worked 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, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”
Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets were all human beings just like us. If they possessed any superhuman power, it was the power of faith! Paul goes on to describe how they used faith to raise the dead, endure torture, mocking, scourging, chains, and imprisonment.
They were stoned, sewn in two and slain by the sword. They wandered about in animal skins, were destitute and lived in affliction and torment. But they never lost their faith! They endured because they applied the faith to overcome.
God has given us the same measure of faith. Sometimes it’s the size of a mustard seed. Sometimes it’s gigantic. Whatever level of faith we possess, if we apply it, we will not only endure whatever life brings our way, we will join our predecessors in applying the faith to overcome.
Dr. Preston T. Adams III is senior pastor at Amazing Grace Christian Church in Indianapolis. Contact Pastor Adams via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @DrPrestonTAdams. For more information, visit agccindy.org.