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Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

Hebrews 11 has long been known as “The Faith Chapter.” Check most versions of the Bible and you will notice the “Faith in Action” subtitle under chapter 11. We are quick to quote Hebrews 11:1 to ourselves and others when we walk through difficulties, as a call to faith, a call to believe even when we can’t see the end result. But, could it be there is more to this passage than we realize? As pastors, when we preach this text, we have the opportunity to call our people to something deeper. It calls us to a shared remembrance of the faithfulness of God to our ancestors and the practice of faith that sustained them. And this shared remembrance of this ancient story calls us to do the same – put our faith and trust in God – the One who was and is and will always be faithful.

As we look at our world today, it would seem as though “faith” is on the decline. I am not just speaking about faith in a religious sense. More and more people are losing faith in a lot of things – medical science, politicians, institutions, structures, religious institutions, God, and the list could go on. There seems to be less faith going around, especially when it comes to the church. At one point, in the not-so-distant past, people who had no faith background would turn to the church in moments of crisis. That time has come and gone. Today, more and more people find the church to be a place whose faith has become misguided. What happened to faith? Is it lost? Can it be reclaimed? Is there hope for us? For the church? As I read Hebrews 11, the answer is a resounding YES! There is hope – when our faith is placed in the faithfulness of God!

When you Google the definition of “faith,” this is what pops up:

Faith: 1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something. 2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

According to this definition, faith – complete trust or confidence – com