Among the Heroes
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses, these were men who could see the unseen. They believed in God and in believing, they found approval. Enoch walked with God. Noah built the ark. Abraham offered his son of promise. Moses delivered the Law to the people. These men preformed deeds that all would remember. These stories were passed down from generation to generation as parents sought to teach their children of the importance of following God.
We still study these stories today. However, have you ever noticed how Hebrews 11 ends? “Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourging, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground” (Heb. 11:35-38). Have you ever wondered, who were these women? Who were these men? Why were their names not recorded and their stories not given equal time and recognition? Perhaps the answer is this: they didn’t have to be.
We have often recognized someone as a hero for some great and marvelous deed. However, these unnamed brethren were included among the heroes that we look to and preach about. They, even though unknown, were just as heroic. They were people who served as examples for all whose lives they touched.
Among the heroes are people of godly character. They are servants. They seek the Lord in humility. They understand Paul’s words in Romans 5:3-5, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Men and women of godly character rejoice in their tribulations and hold fast to their hope. They gird themselves with the armor of God and they contend earnestly for the faith. Day by day, those of godly character arise with a singular goal: “Lord, let me live like you.” Night by night, they beseech the Father: “Lord, help me to do better tomorrow.”
Among the heroes are people of quiet action. They do not live for recognition. The scribes and the Pharisees would practice their faith with the desire to be seen by men. They wanted to be recognized by all as great teachers - people to be admired. The scribes and Pharisees sought praise. They would fight against anything and anyone who threatened their status. From the mountain, Jesus warned those who would be His disciples to refrain from such pretense. He said, "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 6:1). Among the heroes are those who do right, because it is right. Their motivation is pure. People of quiet action know and understand that God is watching and the reward which He bestows is enough for them.
Among the heroes are people of rock solid faith. They look toward the promised land. In a world filled with doubt, pain, and trouble, these heroes are not shaken. They have confidence that they serve a benevolent Lord. They ask. They seek. They knock. These heroes leave examples to follow. Examples of people who stood for the truth in the face of opposition. They wander in deserts (Heb. 11:38), yet not without aim. Their focus, their aim, is on the Lord. They understand that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
Heroism is defined simply as having great bravery. Great bravery can be shown in many different ways. Moses displayed his bravery as he led the people out of Egypt. David’s bravery was seen as he battled the mighty giant. However, you need not preform some great deed or overcome a huge obstacle to be a hero. Be a hero to all those around you by quietly being an example of godly character and faith. This is the high calling to which we have all been called. If this calling leads you up mountains, be strong. If this calling leads you across the street, be ready. In doing so, your name will also be listed among the heroes in the Lamb’s book of Life.