And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland.
That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.
All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. (Hebrews 11:1, 6, 16, 33-35, 39, 40 NLT)
In many ways I felt like I could highlight this whole chapter...the stories of faith...the encouragement to faith...what some gave up for faith...when you consider...it's just crazy...I'm sure that's what they were called...more than once I'm sure. I think of Noah...building that ark wasn't a short proposition...Abraham...leaving everything and everyone he knew...not to mention...being willing to kill his son because God told him too. How do you not hear those jeers...how do you not believe them? That is what faith looks like....We need to have faith that God has it all in his hand and that we will have our hopes and dreams fulfilled when we reach heaven.