In the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, God lists many of the great men and women of faith. Their lives were so exceptional that God assigned a chapter of His Word to them exclusively. What an honor!
What an inspiration as we read of the great accomplishments these heroes of the faith achieved. These people of God serve as an example of how we, too, can become great examples of faith.
Like all successful people, there are common traits that they all share. These traits make them who they are and equip them to do extraordinary things. What are the common traits of people who have extraordinary faith?
Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT Since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses of the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
In these two verses, God gives us the secret to having a faith that leads to the extraordinary.
The first thing we see is that we have the great examples of men and women of faith to study and imitate. Their lives of faith serve as inspiring examples and provide solid instruction.
We see that a common trait of people who have extraordinary faith is that they do not let anything get in the way of their focus on God. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way: “Let us strip off every weight that slows us down.”
There are many things that can interfere with your focus on God, like the everyday challenges of life. But the main issue that is mentioned is “sin that so easily trips us up.”
Sin undermines your ability to have strong faith. Sin embraces anything that is contrary to God’s ways and will. So, God instructs those who wish to have extraordinary faith to rid themselves of anything in their lives that gets in the way of a clear path to God. All of these great people of faith kept sin in check in their lives. Ridding themselves of sin allowed God to be close to them because sin separates man from God.
The next common trait we see is that they are focused. They “ran the race God set before them with endurance.” In the book of James, we are told that we gain the ability to “endure, persevere, and be patient” by overcoming trials. The reason these great people of faith were able to endure and run the “race that that God set before them” was that they were not cowed by challenges to their faith. They overcame them. They were spiritually strong. This experience of facing trials and defeating them toughened them up and led to the ability to be strong over the long run.
How can God’s people today acquire such powerful faith? God says to kept your eye on the ball. We are to “keep our eyes on Jesus.” When the challenges of life begin to overwhelm us, do not take your eyes off of Jesus. Remain focused.
This is how your faith is perfected! So join those great men and women of the faith found in Hebrews 11 and do extraordinary things with your life! Be a man or woman of faith!
Have a great, faith filled week!
God bless, Dick
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