My Cart My Cart (0)
$5 off coupon in-store only. Unsubscribe at any time.

Read A Sample

Kingdom Heroes: Building a Strong Faith That Endures

Kingdom Heroes: Building a Strong Faith That Endures

by Tony Evans

Learn More | Meet Tony Evans
The overriding feeling that life isn’t working and it’s not even worth trying anymore has begun to pervade society at large, causing many people to live with a profound sense of hopelessness and despair. Furthermore, this sense has led more and more of them to throw in the towel on life itself. When nearly 40 million people lost their jobs during the onset of the pandemic-based lockdown in America, suicide rates rose. In fact, during the early months of physical distancing, more people died from suicide in the state of Tennessee than died from COVID-19.*1Add to that, the overwhelming social, economic, political, and racial unrest we experienced in our culture caused both confusion and insecurity to arise in the hearts of people nationwide.

My phone nearly rang off the hook during the initial stages of these multiple pandemics due to my congregants seeking counsel from me as their pastor. They just couldn’t take it anymore. It seemed like each day brought a new worry, fear, or concern to all of us, and my emotions rode the same ever-changing roller coaster of uncertainty everyone else’s did.

On top of that, I was at the beginning season of mourning the loss of my wife, ministry partner, and best friend of 49 years, Lois, and I was additionally mourning the loss of my dad, who had passed away just a month before she did. The previous months had also brought the loss of my sister, her husband, my brother, and two nieces. People were calling me to help them through their pain while I was treading my own painful waters.

So much had suddenly changed in my life. Social situations were different not only because of the loss of so many family members but because of the loss of friends and church members who had passed away. My career routine changed through the temporary closing of our church premises due to the mandatory Dallas County shelter-in-place rules—I stopped preaching to congregations and began preaching to two cameras. Interviews increased as network after network contacted our ministry asking for my perspective on the virus and its social impact, race relations in America, the 2020 election, and more. I stopped traveling to speak at churches, conferences, and events due to being in the high-risk category for COVID-19 based on my age and having had a bout with walking pneumonia at the onset of the pandemic.

Nothing resembled the normalcy I’d once known, lived, and experienced for so long. Nothing at all.

Except God.

In the midst of the chaos of constant change, pounding like waves crashing against breakers set to hold their wrath at bay, God’s constancy was calming. And better yet, it remained calming. His power prompted my internal praise. His peace soothed my heart so I could speak comforting truths to the many who looked to me during this strange season we were all sharing as a nation and around the world.

Living by Faith

As each week and month progressed into what seemed like a continual cycle of uncertainty, one day I spoke with my good friend and fellow pastor Jim Cymbala. He’d been away from his church in New York City during the height of the pandemic there, and as was true for so many of those in ministry, his heart was heavy. When he told me a large percentage of pastors in California and New York were considering leaving the ministry due to the difficulties they were facing (at one point, California had even made it against the law to sing in church), the gravity of the reality we were in hit me hard. Knowing so many were contemplating quitting in the midst of this trial reminded me of those mentioned in Hebrews who had also considered throwing in the towel, hanging up the gloves, and moving on. I’m sure abandoning the faith and going back to the world’s ways crossed their minds in hopes that it would lessen the difficulties they faced. Perhaps they even wondered if the Christian faith was worth the effort, because it just didn’t seem to be working for them anymore.

In Hebrews 11—often called the Hall of Faith—we’re introduced to these individuals and how they responded when life got hard. That chapter is also the basis of our study on kingdom heroes, which is why I’m calling the place we’re about to enter the Hall of Heroes Museum. These verses give us both the backdrop and conclusions to the stories we’ll explore as we examine the core DNA and features that show up in each hero.

But first, in chapter 10, the author of Hebrews has something important to say to those who want to be kingdom heroes:

Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul (verses 35-39).

He’s telling us what we most need to live as a kingdom hero—endurance. We need the will to keep going when life gets tough. But he also throws in the caveat that we’re to have this endurance based on our faith. In fact, the way “my righteous one shall live by faith” is worded is important because of what it implies. In other words, faith ought to be our modus operandi. It should be the way we flow. Faith isn’t a concept to visit but rather a lifestyle to embrace. Thus, if we’re not living by faith, the conclusion based on this passage is this: We’re not living righteously. Scripture clearly states that the righteous live by faith.

Search Chapters:

Browse More Chapters