MY HEROES OF FAITH
M.Anthony David Swaroop Kumar
Abel loved the Lord and offered from his beloved flocks, a choice lamb as an offering to the Lord. God accepted his offering. His brother Cain burned with jealousy. He brutally murdered him. The first man to be murdered, and indeed a hero of faith: Abel.
Enoch pleased God. He walked with God. One evening he took a longer than usual walk with Him. He went on to stay with God in heaven. The first man not to experience death. A hero of faith from the annals of the Bible.
Living deep in the hinterland, far away from the sea, Noah received a strange command from God. He was asked to build a sea worthy ark. He was faithful to obey this command. Undeterred by the mocking and laughter of his neighbours, Noah faithfully built the ark, plank by plank. He saved himself and his family from the Flood. A hero of faith!
The Father of the faithful is the name given to Abraham. What did he do? He left all the comforts of the city of Ur of Chaldeans and proceeded towards the Promised Land. There in Canaan, Abraham dwelt in tents and dreamt of a city with solid foundations. A city promised by God. What faith? What a hero?
Both Abraham and Sara were well past the age for bearing children. Yet, they believed in the word of the Lord. The Lord told them that they would have a son of promise, their own son. And that through him, their offspring would be like the sand of the desert or the stars of the desert sky. They believed and gave birth to Isaac, as promised.
When the Lord required the sacrifice of this same promised child Isaac, Abraham did not waver. He did not raise the feeblest doubt saying, ‘Lord what of your promise? Now from where do we get offspring like sand?’ He simply and faithfully did all that the Lord asked him to. In fact, he told the servants at the foothill of Mount Moriah, “ We will go to sacrifice and we will come back. Stay here”
What an extraordinary faith indeed! Abraham at this juncture believed, that the Lord would resurrect Isaac. Abraham and Sarah, icons of faith indeed.
The Hall of faith in the Bible (Hebrews chapter 11) gives a glance of His faithful leaders, our heroes: Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthah, David, Samuel and the prophets. They were faithful and patient. What heroes of faith indeed?
How about today? In this day and age, do we have any heroes of Faith? I believe that even today in this world there are many heroes and heroines of faith.
Some are in the limelight, perhaps only the tip of the iceberg. But most I believe are out of the limelight. Their struggles and victories are not known by us. In fact, we will know them later, perhaps at the Bema, the great white throne judgment.
Graham Stewart Staines, a missionary was working with the despised leprosy patients in a remote corner of India. He and his two small boys were sleeping it out in their jeep after a hard day of ministering to the people. All three of them were burnt alive. Their faith lives on.
Gladys Staines, the wife of Graham made a refreshingly different comment in the National news media. She said that she forgave the perpetrator of this heinous crime. What a powerful statement of faith!
A faithful Christian who sacrificially gives for the spread of the gospel.
A young couple that decides to dedicate their life to missions.
A thoughtful girl who spends her free hours caring for the aged.
A simple Pastor who gently disciples his flock regularly week after week.
Lights as it were dispelling the darkness of doubt, the darkness of ignorance and unbelief.
All these adorn God’s Hall of faith today.
They are my heroes of faith. Perhaps they need a word, a smile from you and me. Let’s go out smile at one of them today!
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© 2004: M A David S Kumar.