Faith enabled Abraham to become a father, even though he was old and Sarah had never been able to have children. Abraham trusted that God would keep his promise.
Abraham was as good as dead. Yet, from this man came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the grains of sand on the seashore.
All these people died having faith. They didn't receive the things that God had promised them, but they saw these things coming in the distant future and rejoiced. They acknowledged that they were living as strangers with no permanent home on earth.
Those who say such things make it clear that they are looking for their own country.
If they had been thinking about the country that they had left, they could have found a way to go back.
Instead, these men were longing for a better country--a heavenly country. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God. He has prepared a city for them.
When God tested Abraham, faith led him to offer his son Isaac. Abraham, the one who received the promises from God, was willing to offer his only son as a sacrifice.
God had said to him, "Through Isaac your descendants will carry on your name."
Abraham believed that God could bring Isaac back from the dead. Abraham did receive Isaac back from the dead in a figurative sense.
Faith led Isaac to bless Jacob and Esau.
While Jacob was dying, faith led him to bless each of Joseph's sons. He leaned on the top of his staff and worshiped God.