I have been teaching through the book of Hebrews since October at 8:00 am on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm. I started studying it in depth about this time last year, reading through 6 different commentaries, memorizing the first 9 chapters well and the last 4 chapters sorta well, I read all 13 chapters every day for 6 months, and I did extensive writing on the content of the book, and wrote 30 sermons.
I don’t know if those who listened to the teaching I did on the book profited spiritually, but I know that I have never had a study impact me as much as this one has. Hebrews is most known for the 6 very serious warning passages in the book, and reflecting on them can’t help but make me think very seriously about my relationship with God. How real is my faith and how much is just fitting in with the culture I was brought up in.
The lesson this week is on Hebrews 11, which is referred to as the faith chapter, because every verse in the chapter has something to teach about faith. Verse 6 says without faith it is impossible to please God. Without faith you can’t get saved from Hell, without faith you can’t grow spiritually, without faith you won’t know God, without faith your prayers will have zero power, and without faith you can’t accomplish anything of significance with your life. Abraham grew strong in faith, but others grow weak in faith.
Faith grows strong by doing those things that require faith, and probably at the top of the list is prayer. When we pray we talk to a God we can’t see, that we believe is listening, and that He cares. We have no proof for any of that, we just believe, but as we give much time to prayer our faith in the power of prayer grows and as our faith grows God answers more and more of our prayers validating our faith, causing it to grow even more.