The writer of Hebrews described faith and gave several examples of those who demonstrated such faith in chapter 11. He provided a list of people who responded to God’s word and work in their lives and they responded by faith. These heroes of faith were people just like us who saw God working in their world and found ways, sometimes dramatic and courageous ways to join God in His work. These people trusted God and endured confidently in Him.
The writer stopped to emphasize on a point. “But without faith, it is impossible to please God” Hebrews 11:6.
Why is that? The church has often stressed the priority of faith over works, and this passage helps us understand why faith takes priority. Without faith, works will never happen. We have no motivation to do anything if we don’t “believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” We do what we do because we are sure God is there. We live to please God because we believe God will reward those who seek him.
And what reward do we seek? Riches? Fame? No, we don’t want anything so shallow or insignificant. We want the victory God gave Enoch that is, an eternity of walking with God. We seek God because we want the kinds of rewards only He can give. This what people like Paul sought for. “I count all things but loss for the Excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” Philippians 3:8.
Faith opens up our understanding to see that we find a different reality in the presence of God. We find everything that is truly important in His presence, things like peace, love, joy, and hope.
All that truly makes life worth living is the presence of Christ. We believe only God possesses these these things and only He can make them part of our lives. Faith, confidence in who God is and what His coming kingdom has in store for His people, causes us to live our lives now the way we will live one day in heaven. That is, a life of victory.
A faith that pleases God makes us victorious. A faith that is confident God exists makes us victorious. A faith that knows God will reward our pursuit of Him makes us victorious. Life was not easy in fact, it was very hard for them, but they confidently endured because they knew their faith in God would give them victory.