Everyone needs heroes, especially in difficult times – someone to look to for inspiration, courage, and noble character. Have you ever run out of heroes? Sometimes it’s hard to find a hero who lives an Alive and Active Life. This content is about some ordinary people who are faith heroes.
(This is Part 1 in a series on faith. See below for the entire Faith Series articles/podcasts links.)
Ever Run Out Of Heroes?
As things are now globally, it seems there are fewer heroes. But I don’t think that’s true. There are heroes all over the world and all through history. Many are regular people who have decided to bravely do the right thing – the thing that must be done. I remember years ago when I felt I’d run out of heroes. God opened my eyes to see heroes all around me. Faithful, thoughtful people with integrity.
Who’s Your Hero?
Before we begin, I simply must ask – who is your hero? Go ahead – think of them now. Maybe you have several. They could live near you or far away. Maybe they’ve already died. I wish I could hear your list.
Perhaps you’ve run out of heroes! That can be discouraging. You wonder who to look up to, who provides a tangible example to follow – the people who made it through, and you wonder how they did it.
Where can you turn to find good options when you run out of heroes?
Scripture Heroes With Help For Today
Scripture provides a good running list of regular people like you and me who became heroes. As we look at some, you’ll be encouraged. And you’ll see you can become a hero, yourself. Why? Because these ordinary folks never set out to be heroes. They just believed God and worked to be faithful each day. Sometimes they even failed and then put energy into correcting their missteps.
Let’s see what we can learn. We’ll look at each person, their response, and the result.
Hero Example 1 – Zechariah
Zechariah: An angel said to him, “Your wife will have a baby even though she’s too old. So, you don’t believe me? OK. You won’t be able to talk till the baby is born. By the way, name him ‘John.’ ”
RESPONSE: Zechariah had trouble believing the angel. So, he was unable to speak from that moment on. Meanwhile, the baby was conceived and born. On the 8th day after birth, people asked if the child would be named after Zechariah. Since Zechariah still couldn’t speak, Elizabeth said the baby would be called ‘John.’ Surprised, the people turned to Zechariah and asked him the child’s name. Still unable to speak, He had to write the baby’s name to make it official for all to see. He wrote, “His name is John.” Suddenly, Zechariah could talk again. (Lk. 1:57-66)
RESULT: Zechariah didn’t respond like a hero in the beginning. As a result, he lived in silence (about 9 months) while he worked on ordinary faith in an extraordinary God. Then he responded with excellence and became a hero.
Hero Example 2 – Mary
Mary: An angel said to her, “You are going to have a baby without being intimate with a man. The baby will be the Son of God.”
RESPONSE: Mary was not intimate with a man, yet she chose to believe. This is stunning! In fact, she praised God ahead of time for what He was about to do in her body. She became pregnant and remained a virgin until after Jesus was born. Jesus grew up sinless and died on a cross to cover all sin. What a story!
RESULT: Mary quickly responded to the angel’s shocking message – “I am the Lord’s servant. May Your word to me be fulfilled.” (Lk. 1:38) Mary practiced the heart of a hero! All her life she likely lived under the stigma of getting pregnant before marriage. So, she may have endured long-reaching consequences for choosing to trust and obey God – not giving in to the fear of man. She is a model hero. What a wonderful mother and godly woman!
Hero Example 3 – Joseph
Joseph: An angel appeared in the middle of the night and said to him, “Take Mary and baby Jesus – and flee to Egypt. Herod is going to try to kill Jesus.” (Mt. 2:13-18)
RESPONSE: Joseph obeyed and fled with his family – in the middle of the same night. He didn’t ask what would happen to his home or stuff. He just obeyed. Herod did kill all the baby boys two years old and younger in that town. What a bad man!
RESULT: Joseph woke out of grogginess into immediate surrender and action. He woke his family, pushing them out the door in the dead of night. Because his response was urgent Joseph trusted his house and belongings to God’s care while they were gone . . . not knowing if or when they would return. Joseph partnered with God and helped save Jesus’ life. He practiced resolve in a high form of heroism. No wonder God chose him to be Jesus’ earthly father. Just an ordinary man.
Hero Example 4 – Lot
Lot: Angels said to him, “Get out of Sodom. God is going to destroy the wicked city. Save yourself and your family. Don’t even look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plains! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”
RESPONSE: Lot lingered a while. What a decision and so immediate! He had trouble responding like a hero. The angels helped him by taking his family by the hand out of the city. Lot and his family fled. God rained fire and sulfur down on Sodom and wiped it from the map. Lot’s wife turned to watch, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.
RESULT: Lot had observed a hero in his uncle Abraham. He also learned from the angels as they took his family from their home, life, friends, and belongings on short notice, knowing all would be destroyed. In other words, Lot would be starting over completely. He certainly practiced being a hero to keep fleeing even after his wife was turned to a pillar of salt. What a terrible reality to leave her in that state! (Gen. 19:15-26)
Hero Example 5 – Joshua
Joshua: God told Joshua the battle plan to conquer Jericho. The people were to march around Jericho once a day for six days. Leading were priests with trumpets in front of the Ark of the Covenant with an armed guard in front of them. Another guard of soldiers followed the Ark. On day seven, they were to march around seven times. What an unusual battle strategy! (Josh. 6)
RESPONSE: Joshua gave the Israelites God’s battle plan. They chose to trust Joshua – and God – instead of snickering and doubting God’s strategy. They walked around thick walls one time for six days. Each day was a test of faith in God’s strategy and deliverance. On the seventh day, they geared up for the “hero walk” – seven laps around the city. The citizens of Jericho stood on the wall and watched, wondering about these crazy people who claimed a powerful God loves them. “Weird, naïve” – perhaps they thought. After the seventh lap, the Israelites yelled really loud. No catapults or dynamite. Thick, stone walls collapsed under the pressure of hero faith and obedience.
RESULT: Joshua was respected yet again as the great leader of Israel. He had a special, intimate relationship with the God who could do anything. Every time Joshua obeyed God’s words, powerful things happened. The people were encouraged and strengthened as they watched this hero. They ignored the mockers on the wall, kept obeying God, and turned away from doubts, fears, and the temptation to be embarrassed. As a result, their fame became even greater, causing enemies in the Promised Land to tremble when they heard Israel was headed their way. Joshua was a hero, and he helped God’s people become ordinary heroes of faith.
Many More Heroes
Several previous examples involve angels actively involved. That isn’t always the case. There are examples of heroes – like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Paul, Esther, Abraham, Timothy, Joseph – real people who chose to trust God. Most did not have angels. These people tapped into God’s power to rise above circumstances and become heroes.
May I just say this. Any person who trusts and obeys God is a hero to Him. This is good news. It means you can be a hero. You can encourage others around you to be heroes. Ordinary people. And in a world that has run out of heroes, this is a game changer.
Why not start now to fill the void of world heroes in your ordinary, daily responsibilities?
Application Questions and Thoughts
- Are you making hero choices?
- Why not decide to be one of those ordinary folks who courageously lives each day to make a difference in the world?
- Why not influence others to do the simple, yet challenging work of a hero?
WE NEED MORE HEROES!!
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us . . .” (Eph. 3:20)
Here are links to the entire Faith Series articles/podcasts. Lots of encouragement, help, and hope!
- Ever Run Out Of Heroes?
- Faith Jump
- Fresh Faith For You
- Grow Up In Faith – 4 Tips
- Faith and Family
- Who Can You Trust These Days?
- True Story Of Faith
Visit our website for devotional materials, articles, podcasts, and resources to help grow your faith in God. Pursue noble character and an Alive and Active Life.