Hebrews 12:1-3 (KJV)
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
I have always been intrigued by the passages of scripture in Hebrews 12. I have admired those mentioned and sought to be like them in some small way. However, I have known several people that fit some of these same descriptions – wonderful people that endured all kinds of hardship and opposition yet served the Lord tirelessly with joy, peace, and complete trust in Christ to see them through. Not only did they have trust but a willingness to be in complete submission to the will of God, even unto death.
I could mention Norman Godbey, who followed Jesus for more than 7 decades and remained confident not only in Christ, but also in his brothers and sisters in Christ. He was always excited to see what God would do and ready to do his part no matter if it was sharing or physical labor. He loved Jesus with all his heart and was always encouraging me, his pastor, and everyone else who would listen, to follow Jesus. He believed in giving and in tithing as well as going to church and living his life as an example. He came to me just a few weeks before he passed away and told me the Lord had told him he would not be around much longer. Just a few weeks later, I was honored to preach his memorial service. God does not hide what He is going to do from those who truly serve Him. God always lets His servants know when He is intending to do something that will affect their lives.
I could also speak about my wife Janet who served the Lord even when I tried to keep her from doing that. When I would not let her use my car to go to church, she had church friends who would take her and the children to services. She always prayed for others, and always prayed for me. She asked God to have mercy on my soul. He finally did and she continued to serve God by teaching young girls how to become Godly women. She spent many years teaching and sharing the Gospel and saw many come to Jesus Christ. There was a time God told her he was going to take her through hard times and God used her hard times to touch the lives of many others. Regardless of the obstacles, she served her Savior. Not even cancer could stop her form showing the love and joy of Christ to others.
I could talk of Susan Lockhart who lived her life following Jesus with a simple faith and joy of serving Him. She was a wonderful person who literally poured her life into the lives of young children. She not only helped them to learn, but also to grow up. She was a person who when she smiled everyone else would be smiling. She was always willing to help, to pray, to give, or to do whatever was needed to show the love of Christ. Interestingly enough, if you really love the Lord Jesus, it will show through in who you are and what you do. God spoke to her and told her she was going through rough times and she continued to be filled with joy and peace until she was promoted to Glory.
The point is that there are many Heroes of Faith around you. You will not find them on the news or on television or receiving the acclaim of the world. They do not desire that. They desire only to hear the words of Jesus as he says to them, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” They are not seeking recognition of the world or the praise of others for what they do. They are only seeking to please their Savior. They are friends, teachers, pastors, firemen, husbands, children, or any other walk of life. But you can recognize them if you watch closely. Yes, they might be a lot like You!
I could speak of many others. Maybe I will one day soon. Remember, desire to please God and he will let you know when he intends to use you. May we all seek to please him.