We often speak of faith in passive terms. If you Google “verses about faith”, you’ll find most links describe how to maintain a certain kind of hope during times of trouble.
But we are not called to a faith that merely hopes during desperate times. We are called to a living faith during all times. The faith that gains God’s approval is active.
This passage introduces what some call the “Hall of Faith.” The rest of the chapter provides examples of men and women who acted on God’s commands, trusting His promise.
The examples are diverse but action-oriented. Noah was faithful on the job. Rahab changed teams. Each example glistens like rays of sunlight. But sometimes the promise was fulfilled in the next life. Abel was faithful in worship, obeying God’s way to sacrifice, and lost his physical life.
The vital thing about faith is what we believe. The key thing to believe is that God is good. Whatever He allows into our lives is our best opportunity, even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. If He says “build a boat on dry land”, there is a good reason. Even if we don’t understand it for years.
No matter where we are, how we are called, or what our circumstances are, we are exhorted to live according to God’s commands, trusting his promise that his way is for our best. This is how to please God. The key to crossing the finish line of life victorious.