Scripture Passage: Hebrews 11:30-34
In this life, we will experience situations in which we’ve tried to trust in God and our faith seems to fail. What do we do when we face trials, tribulations, or heartaches, and faith doesn’t seem to remove them?
Hebrews 11 gives us insight for those who struggle to endure when times get tough.
First, this passage reminds us that mature faith believes in the supernatural power of God.
“…who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked 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…” (Hebrews 11:33-34).
Mature believers know that God can do anything but fail.
Anyone who has walked with Jesus for a long time has had an experience that can’t be explained apart from His power.
When reminded of the numerous miracles of God, we can be comforted to know that if God does not do something, it is not because He cannot.
Second, mature faith bows to the sovereign purposes of God.
“Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35).
Sometimes, God’s ways are mysterious, but that doesn’t mean they’re weak. Many of the early Christians were martyred for their faith; many Christians around the world still are.
God has not promised a life without difficulty. He has simply promised Himself. He will never leave or forsake us, especially when we face difficulty. We must hold onto the promise that, through Him, we have the ultimate victory over death.
Finally, mature faith is based on the settled promises of God.
“And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Hebrews 11:39-40).
When faith seems to fail, it may be that we are asking for something that God never intended for us. We must remember that God has a wonderful plan, and He will bring it to pass. We can depend on His steadfast, eternal promises from Scripture.
Adrian Rogers says, “Real faith is to center your life on Almighty God.”
Apply it to your life
Do you have the faith to endure trials and heartaches? Are you willing to let God be God, and to trust Him even when things don’t make sense?
Now actually, that’s why this 11th chapter of hebrews is written because there were some who were ready to throw in the towel. There were some who were ready to hang it up, they had been serving the Lord and there was great persecution, but sometimes it seems like faith seems to fail. I want to give you three propositions this morning so that you will have a mature faith. Adrian Rogers ability to apply biblical truth to everyday life was one of the many things that made him such a remarkable pastor teacher and writer today on love worth finding. He’ll be bringing that uniqueness to this series of messages that were calling champions of faith. Have your bibles open to hebrews chapter 11 and join us for today’s message. And if this message is an encouragement to you, remember, you can stream this message again and download pastor Rogers outline notes and other resources to go along with this message all at L WF dot org. Now, let’s join Adrian Rogers Take your bibles, find hebrews chapter 11 and look up here, we’ve been talking about faith. We’re in a series of Bible sermons entitled Champions of Faith. You can’t live the christian life apart from faith. For the bible says clearly plainly that we live by faith. The Just shall live by faith. Lord jesus said according to your faith, be it unto you. The writer of Hebrews says, apart from faith, it is impossible to please God. So we need not only to possess faith, we need a faith that possesses us, but what happens sometimes when faith seems to fail. Sometimes we pray, Maybe we’re going to have an outdoor event and we say Lord give us beautiful weather and the bottom falls out. Has that ever happened to you? I mean it turns everything into a swamp and you prayed and you asked God for it. Sometimes you pray and you say Lord, I want to marry that man, give him to me as a husband and he marries your best friend. I said Lord on a more serious note. Sometimes we have a loved one who’s sick and we come to God and we say, oh God, hell, my child, Lord, he or my wife, heavenly father touch with your healing hand. And they don’t get better. They get worse and it seems like some greedy malady is just eating away at those that we love the best and we see them wind down to the grave and we’ve tried to believe we’ve tried to trust and faith seems to fail. We’re ready just to throw in the towel. So what’s the use? It’s not working. Have you ever been there? Let’s look here in hebrews chapter 11 And look here at some of the amazing victories of faith. Let’s look in verse 32. Now, the writer of hebrews chapter 11, who I personally think was Paul, but I wouldn’t go to the mat with you about it. Look in verse 32 and what shall I more say for time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak, and of Samson and jep thigh, and of David also in Samuel. And of the prophets. Now listen to this. Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched. The violence of fire, escaped the edge of a sword. Out of weakness were made strong, waxed, valiant in fight, turned to flight. The armies of the aliens, women received their dead, raised to life again. Now, if you just ended there, we’d say sign me up. That’s the kind of life I want. But there is another two words here that some of us may not like and others and others listen. Were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others had a trial of cruel mocking and scourging. Moreover, a bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned. They were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskin is being destitute, afflicted, tormented, of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and in mountains and in dens and caves of the earth. Well, something must have been wrong with them. They must not have had faith notice verse 39 all these, having obtained a good report through faith received not the promise God said. What did they get on their report card. A plus. How did they do it by faith? Did they escape? No, they did not escape. They endured some escaped by faith. Some endured by faith. All had faith. But sometimes it seems like faith seems to fail. I want to give you three propositions this morning so that you will have a mature faith. All right, You ready for three principles? Number one. Mature faith believes in the supernatural power of God. Now, that means if God doesn’t do it, it is not because he cannot look again in verses 32 through 35. And what shall I more say for? Time would fail me to tell Gideon and the braque and of Samson and Jeff and David also. And Samuel and the prophets 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, women received their dead raised to life again, and others were stop right there. Now, all of these are supernatural, supernatural deliverance and friend. We all love those stories. We have learned them from childhood. Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Don’t you love the story of old Daniel? They said, Daniel. Don’t pray with throw you in the Lion’s Den. He prayed anyway. They threw him in the Lion’s Den, and God gave the lions lock jaw. No daniel pulls up a fluffy line and flush him up and use him for a pillar gets his old testament and begins to read between the Lions. We love those stories, we love the story of Shadrach meshach and Abednego. They said bow down to the pagan idol, or we’ll cast you in the fiery furnace. They said, we’re not going to worship your filthy idle shot. Right, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace. They wouldn’t bow, they wouldn’t budge, but they wouldn’t burn. The king looks in the fire furnace, he said, I thought we threw three guys in there. There’s four in there and the fourth is like the son of God, and jesus walked through the fire with them and they came out. The bible says, without the smell of smoke in their clothes. I can’t even go to the barbershop without the smell of smoke in my clothes. What a mighty God! They served David and Goliath and David slew Goliath. We’ve heard that story Since we were Children. Goliath over nine ft tall. Everybody else was afraid of Goliath! Not young. David. David was just a kid. Hadn’t even begun to shave yet. I don’t believe the bible says he was fair and have already countenance. Everybody else thought that Goliath was too big to hit. David, thought he was too big to miss everybody else was thinking, look how much bigger than Goliath is. And we are. David was thinking, look how much smaller Goliath is than God is. And God gave David the Victory over this giant. We loved those stories. We loved the story in the new testament of Simon Peter been cast into prison by Wicked Herod. An angel comes in and leads him out of prison and the angel says, wake up Simon get dressed. That is, we’re not sneaking out, we’re going out in class. The doors open and he walks out of the prison. Great jailbreak. As a matter of fact, if you read the bible, Simon Peter had more difficulty getting into a prayer meeting afterward than you had getting out of jail. We love those stories. I love those stories and I’m gonna tell you something if you have walked with jesus for a long time. Every one of you have a story like that where God miraculously supernaturally inexplicably work in your heart, in your life. And no way to explain it apart from God. And you say praise God the supernatural power of God. Now, I’m telling you mature faith believes in the supernatural power of God. And don’t ever say there’s something God cannot do. God can do anything, anything, anything but fail. God cannot fail. Now that’s a mature faith. So if you think I’m trying to explain away the miraculous in this message, you missed the whole thing. The writer of hebrews gives all of these illustration, mature faith believes in the supernatural power of God God, it say got it. Okay, now number two, mature faith bows to the sovereign purposes of God. Now there is God’s supernatural power, but there’s also God’s sovereign purpose. Sometimes God’s ways are mysterious, but that doesn’t mean they’re weak notice. Again. Beginning in verse 35 women receive the dead raised to life again and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection and others had a trial of cruel markings and scourging moreover bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned. They were sawn asunder, they were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskin is being destitute, afflicted, tormented of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and in mountains and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise. Now we love the exciting victories, but sometimes they don’t seem to come, the bible says and some were stoned, Zachariah, the prophet, I was stoned to death. Stephen was stoned. I have a son named steven. Well you say he must not have been right with God. No, he was filled with the Holy Ghost. Simon Peter was filled the Holy Ghost and got 3000 souls Stephen was filled the Holy Ghost and got perhaps 3000 stones, both of them filled with the Holy Ghost. Verse 37 says that some were sawn into sawn asunder. Most likely that refers to Isaiah. Isaiah was put in a hollow tree according to tradition by the king and the hollow tree was then sawn down, he thought that would be a way to mock God’s prophet. Can you imagine being cut in two with a crosscut saw the other says they wanted about in skins and so forth. You see the ancients used to make delight and fun out of torturing Godly people. Early christians were sometimes dressed in animal skins and then turned loose in the woods. So the dogs would bay after them in the hunt. Sometimes they were fed to the lions, go to Rome sometimes and go to colosseum, uh, go to the circus maximus where bloodthirsty crowds would sit up there and say, bring on the christians, bring on the christians and they would seal their faith with their lives. A wise man once said, Faith is not receiving from God so much what we want as it is accepting from God what he gives or what he allows. That is faith. Therefore you need to have an if not clause in your faith. We mentioned a while back chat. Rock me shock and Abednego. And the king says, look, if you don’t bow down to this image, you’re going to be cast into the fiery furnace. Give me your answer. Here’s the answer. Daniel chapter three, Beginning in verse 16 and going through verse 18 shot right me shakin the bed to go, answered and said unto the king O nebuchadnezzar? We are not careful to answer the, in this matter that is uh, we don’t have to study about it. It be so our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and he will deliver us out of thine hand O king. But now notice this verse 18. But if not now, those words are not underscored in your Bible. They really ought to be. But if not be it known unto thee O king that we will not serve by God nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Now. They said, Our God is able and we believe he will. But if he doesn’t, it’s not because he’s not able and we’re not gonna bow before your filthy image notice they had to settle faith. They didn’t say, well, let’s huddle about it. Their mind was already made up. They had a sure faith. Our God is able. But they also had a steadfast faith that even if he doesn’t, even if we’re turned to bacon in that furnace, we’re not going to worship your idol. Our God is able. But we know that if he doesn’t, we’re still not going to worship your idol. Are you ready to quit? Just because God doesn’t do the thing that you asked him to do, you’d better have an if not clause in your faith. It doesn’t mean that your faith is weak. It means that it is stronger than ever. God. I know you’re able. But if you don’t do it, Lord, I’m going to serve you anyway. I’m not gonna make bargains with you? Sometimes we don’t understand why God does things. What I’m talking about is a mature faith bows to the sovereign purposes of God. Let me give you another example. Wicked King Herod took James put him in prison and killed him. Everybody thought, well, that was a good thing to do. So. He took the big guy, Simon Peter put him in prison. He’s going to kill Simon Peter also. And God miraculously delivered Simon Peter. I already told you the story how he walked out of there and the jail gates just swung open. And all of that question, Harry takes James and puts him to death. Hair. It takes peter and he’s delivered from prison, you explain it was James wrong, Peter? Right. Did God love James Peter more than he loved James. No, God has some sovereign purposes in life. Are you willing to let God be God? Are you, are you willing to have an if not clause in your feet? Are you willing to dwell among the and others if necessary? That’s not to diminish the supernatural power of God. You say, well, I want faith to escape. I hope you have it. But if you don’t. Do you have faith to endure? I want you to have faith to be healed. But if you don’t do you have faith not to be healed and still serve God and praise God. Say with old job though he slay me yet. Will I trust him? I will serve you no matter what her back at three verses 17 and 18, although the fig tree should not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines. The labor of the olive shall fail in the fields shall yield no me. The flock shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no herd in the stalls yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation. Now, here’s the third and final thing I want to say to you this morning. Listen, mature faith is based on the settled promises of God. Every promise of God is yea and amen in the Lord, jesus christ now notice Hebrews 11 verses 39 through 40 and these all those escaped And those who endured these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise that is they haven’t received it yet. God having provided something better for us that they without us should not be made perfect. And what does that mean? In plain english, God has such a wonderful plan. And God is working on that plan. And it includes not only these old testament. Saints and these early christians, but it includes all of us. One of these days, God’s gonna bring it all together. And God is going to fulfill his promises to them and to us, God will keep his promise God cannot lie, God cannot fail. And these people had faith and if they did not have the answer in their hand, they had it in their heart and they’re basing their faith on the steadfast promises of God that is, they had an eye to the future. Sometimes we expect too much of life and not enough of God. If you’re looking for everything in this life, you’re not gonna find it, you need to rest on the great eternal promises of God. If things go upside down on you and all of your money is lost, remember that’s not your greatest treasure Anyway, if you never ever become known and famous, it’s what God thinks about you that really counts. If you have a loved one in Jesus who dies? There’s a homecoming in heaven. God has not forgotten his promises God gave the land of Israel to Abraham in every grain of sand, belongs there in the Holy Land to Abraham and his descendants. They don’t have it now. But they will, jesus said, blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Be meek today and see how much of it you get. I’m not saying don’t be meek, but it’s yet to come. We pray for our loved ones to be healed and they die. Was that prayer lost? No, it was heard those in heaven. Our whole were sick. They may like the Lord, jesus christ, you get an average prayer meeting what we’re praying for. We’re praying for the sigma and we’re praying for the loss. More interested in keeping the saints out of heaven than the lost out of hell, jesus is praying Father, I pray for those whom thou has given me that they may be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory. We’re the bride, he’s the bride groom. Don’t you think the bride groom wants the bride with him? So paul said for me to die his game, we get things upside down. Sometimes sometimes people look around, they say, well the church is failing the scandal and there’s this and there’s that friend. Listen to me, jesus said I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The Church of the Lord jesus christ is not dead and we’re not presiding over the funeral of the Church of the Lord jesus christ. The promises of God are yea and amen our friend. When faith seems to fail, it may be that you’re asking of your faith something that God never really intended for your faith. Real faith, listen to me. Real faith is the sin of your life on Almighty God, mature faith, mature faith believes in the supernatural power of God, mature faith bows to the sovereign purposes of God. Mature faith is based on the stead fast promises of God and one of the greatest is this. Believe on the Lord jesus christ and you’ll be saved. Simple and sweet. Wonderful promise value. Heads in prayer. If you’re not certain that you say this is the time. Would you pray a prayer like this? Oh God help me today. Not to be ashamed of you help me today, Lord to take that step of faith to openly and publicly acknowledge jesus as my Lord and Savior. The bible says who several will may come. I want you to say now Lord jesus help me not to be ashamed of you but to openly and publicly trust you today Father, I pray that many will come to christ, amen well amen what these have done here in this beautiful worship center. I trust that many of you are doing that you have said Lord jesus come into my heart, forgive my sin and save me. The wonderful truth of the gospel is the bible says for who so ever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall I’ll be saved and so who you are or where you are doesn’t make all that much difference. It doesn’t really make any difference. If you call on jesus and say Lord jesus, save me. I trust you’ll do it. And if you do write to us and let us know we’ll send you some literature to help you to get started in your christian life. We hope that you’ve been encouraged by these character studies from Hebrews chapter 11 that we’re calling champions of faith. You can stream this message again, share this message with a friend and download other resources related to this message all at L WF dot org or the MA L WF out while you’re there. Be sure to check out our new bible studies on today’s topic as well as many other topics at L WF dot org. You can also subscribe to our day. Daily heartbeat emails. Each heartbeat contains a daily devotional from Adrian Rogers 90 seconds. A profound truth also from Adrian Rogers as well as a link to our daily Radio program, all in one place, delivered directly to your computer or mobile device each day. Or you can catch up with our program each week on our facebook page or Youtube channel and on the my L WF app. Thanks for joining us for today’s message. We’ll see you next time. Light has absolute power over darkness. The darkness cannot put out the light. The light can put out the darkness. Light is more powerful than darkness and truth is more powerful than error. The times are growing dark. But as Adrian Rogers says, they are gloriously dark because the light of christ shines brighter in the darkness in his book. Standing for light and Truth, Pastor teacher and author, Adrian Rogers offers insights and guidance to help you live with oddly integrity and to shine his light in a world growing dark for your gift. This month we’d love to send you standing for light and Truth request yours when you give at 1 806 47 94 100. Or you can give online at L WF dot org. Stand boldly for truth in these dark days of deceit call or go online today.