Please turn to Hebrews 11:30-40. The author of Hebrews has been explaining to us that the Christian life must be lived by faith. And in this passage, there are five different ways that he teaches us about living the life of faith. First, in verse 30, he tells us that faith means believing God when the odds look impossible. Second, in verse 31, he says that faith means believing God when you cannot imagine that He loves you. Third, in verses 32-34, he tells us that believing God is the key ingredient to every real spiritual achievement in this life. Fourth, in verses 35-38, he says that believing God is also the key to enduring the trials and tribulations of this life. And then finally, in verse 39-40, he tells us that believing God is not something that we do at the beginning of the Christian life and then we are done with it. No, believing God is going to be necessary for us all the way up to our final breath.  

I. Faith Believes God Can Do the Impossible. 

In Hebrews 11:30, the author of Hebrews says, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.” The children of Israel had been in the wilderness for forty years. A whole generation had been judged for unbelief, but now a believing generation is being brought into the land of Canaan, the Promised Land. However, at the very outset, as they come into their land, their faith is tested. One of the great tests is when they get to the great fortified city of Jericho. How are they going to take it? How is God going to deliver His people? How are they going to capture the Canaanites? And the word is given from God to Joshua and Joshua gives instruction to the people. In Joshua chapter 6, the people are told to walk around that city for seven days and to blow trumpets and that God is going to bring the walls of that city down. Humanly speaking, that plan made no sense. However, they were obedient to God’s commands and He delivered the city into their hands. By faith, they believed that God could do the impossible.  

II. Faith Believes You Are Not Beyond the Grace of God. 

In Hebrews 11:31, the author of Hebrews says, “By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” Rahab is only mentioned twice in the New Testament, here and in the book of James. In both places, she is identified as a prostitute. But in both places she is held in high esteem by the writer of Scripture under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and she is given as an example for those who believe. Rahab identified herself with God and with His people rather than with her own unbelieving people. From her example, we learn that no one is excluded who trusts in God. The grace of God reaches out to Rahab, the prostitute, and completely changes her life and brings her into all the privileges of the sons and daughters of the Most High. Rahab chose God and His people over everything that she had known, and God blessed her and saved her. You may be thinking that what you have done in this life puts you beyond the reach of the grace of God in the Gospel. You have no idea how far, how powerful that grace is, and it is received by faith. By faith, Rahab shows us that absolutely anyone can receive the blessings of God which are purchased for us in Jesus Christ.   

III. Faith Is Essential to Every Spiritual Accomplishment. 

In Hebrews 11:32-34, we see that faith is essential to every spiritual accomplishment. All sorts of things are listed in this passage. The author gives us an inventory of exploits that date from the days of the judges and from the early monarchy. There are attainments, deliverances, achievements, conquered kingdoms, establishment of justice, inheriting of promises, the stopping of lion's mouths, the quenching of fire, and the sparing from violent death. There are examples of exercising strength in weakness, being powerful in battle, and putting the enemy to run. And in all of the above instances, guess what the author of Hebrews says the key ingredient is? Faith. Not military skill, not even courage, but faith. Trusting dependence on God Most High. And so we learn that faith is essential to every true spiritual accomplishment in the Christian life. 



IV. Faith Enables Us to Endure Trials. 

In Hebrews 11:35-38, we read about a number of trials that the people of God endured including torture, mocking, flogging, imprisonment, affliction, mistreatment, and even death. This life, as John Newton reminds us, is filled with “many dangers, toils, and snares.” And as the Puritans used to say, this life is filled “with losses and crosses.” Every Christian life has trials. How do you endure those trials? How do you survive the difficulties of this life? It is by faith that we endure every trial and tribulation.

V. Faith Is Necessary Until the End.

In Hebrews 11:39-40, we learn that we are never done with faith. Faith is necessary to the very end, all the way to the resurrection. All of these individuals, we learn in verse 39, gained approval through their faith. They received commendation through faith, but they did not receive what was promised. In other words, what they were ultimately looking for they did not fully experience in this life. They could only have it at the great and final resurrection at the second coming of the Son of God. Their ultimate hopes depended upon that truth. They would not, in this life, receive the ultimate satisfaction of their desires. And what does that mean? It means that they had to keep on believing until their last breath. We live in this world all the way up to the end by faith. Only at the second coming and the inauguration of eternity will faith turn into sight. Until then, we live by faith. Faith that believes that God can do the impossible. Faith that can reach anyone. Faith that depends upon God for whatever we are going to achieve. Faith that gets us through our trials. Faith that goes on until the very end. How do we live the Christian life? By faith. May God cause our faith to be more focused on Jesus Christ and more trusting of His purposes as well as more understanding of the glory of His grace in the Gospel.