When we read Hebrews chapter eleven, we find a list of names, names of a prostitute, a murderer, an adulterer, a deceiver and so on.
And we wonder: Huh! The prostitute, Rahab? The adulterer, Samson? The murdered, David? What sort of list of names in the Bible is this?
But the writer of Hebrews didn’t write their names to show us how many failures went before us but how many failures who are just like us were made courageous through faith in God. That is why many preachers and Bible scholars call this specific chapter of the Bible “Hall of Faith”, not “Hall of Fame!”
Their names were mentioned because they believed in Him who justifies the sinners, “- – – to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)
“If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?” (Psalm 130:3)
If we fix our eyes on us, trying to keep record of things we do right, before the day is over, we get depressed because we find out to our nightmare that “we stumble in many ways” (James 3:2) and we run out of paper to keep track of all our failings.
Let’s not forget this for a second: We can never, ever, please God by what we do, but by trusting Him (Hebrews 11:6). Trusting God requires surrendering, giving up to earn God’s grace and favor by getting it all right, waving the white flag high up and say, “I surrender! I have no goodness apart from You. You are the only Good I have! You are the only Hero there is! I ain’t a hero, but You!” (Psalm 16:2)
Yes, God doesn’t define us by our failures, by how many times we stumbled and fell but by our faith, in our total dependence and confidence in Him that enable us to get up and start the race all over again, trusting Him to finish the good work He began in us. ///