Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
This is what faith can do—impossible things, things that they couldn’t have imagined. The result of faith in the lives of the people listed in this chapter is that amazing and awe-inspiring things happened. And those things we look back on still today encourage us to believe God for whatever we are facing. Scripture is full of examples of people who endured extreme difficulties and came out the other side. Why were they able to do so? Because God can do all of those things they needed Him to do. He has already said, already shown, and already proven, so we can trust and believe in our wonder-working God.
A central part of all of these things is that God brought them about. He marched forth and conquered the enemies of His people. He brought about goodness and righteousness. He fulfilled His promises. He held back the lions. He sheltered His people in the flames and the battle. He gave strength where there was none. He turned the tide against the armies who opposed Him. He made things possible that are not possible apart from Him.
So a big part of having strong faith is recognizing that we don’t have to be the one to pull off the miracle. We don’t have to be the strongest. We don’t have to be the wisest. We don’t have to be the most capable. But we trust God to be all of those things. We don’t accomplish hard things by our own efforts. We don’t stand on our own. We can’t manufacture the victory. But it is God at work bringing all of these things to pass.
That’s kind of a relief, then, isn’t it? Because then we don’t have to hope that we can do something, but we can know that God can. We don’t have to see situations as hopeless, but we can have hope in the one who can actually make a difference in our circumstances. We don’t have to try to do something we’d never be able to do, but we let go and let God. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. We think we’ll respond that way. We want to. But when we’re in the midst of something challenging, at times our faith can falter. So may we look back on these reminders of the kinds of things God can do and take heart that He is at work in our lives and our situation, as well.