Hebrews 11 is the great “faith chapter” in which the actions of many Old Testament figures are recounted. The chapter begins be defining faith: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for” (11:1-2). It is interesting to note that it is not only famous Hebrew men who are included on the list but also Gentile women who by faith accepted the God of Israel (v31, Rahab; v 35, Zarephath woman (1 Ki 17:22f) and Shunammite woman (2 Ki 4:36f). We are encouraged to live out our faith in a similar way, confident in the future and ready for the current task of loving one another, showing hospitality to strangers, loving our spouses, etc.
I wonder how many preachers have dared to preach on 13:17: “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” It is the truth but would be hard to preach without coming across as either overbearing or condemning. If someone can preach this verse with power and integrity without upsetting any of the saints they are truly a leader in God’s church.