So I have taken a liberty or two—or three, or four—and with your kind indulgence present the following, hoping it will help not only me, but also you.
By faith the young mother arises to another day of endless chores, sick babies, and not enough time to handle it all, knowing in her heart the importance God has set on her managing her home and teaching her family, and willing to work hard at it even when it seems to present no immediate rewards.
By faith the father returns to a job he doesn't really like, among people who are godless, immoral, often foul-mouthed and intemperate because he realizes that God has given him a family to support and children to raise. He won't quit because he doesn't enjoy the work or the boss doesn't treat him right, but will keep on working "as unto the Lord."
By faith the teenager takes the mean teasing of his so-called friends and still refuses to participate with them in their filthy language, immodest apparel, drinking, drugging, and sexual immorality, valuing his purity as a vessel fit for God's use rather than his own comfort among his peers.
By faith the single child of God serves even those who constantly pester him about his choices in life, making him feel useless or immature as a Christian, simply because he has not married. He takes it all with equanimity and grace, accomplishing just as much or more than they do for the God he loves.
By faith the widow arrives at the meetinghouse on Sunday morning, sits where she has always sat with an empty place next to her, and sings with even more spirit the songs of a loving Savior and the promises he has given us, planning to meet her life's love at the gate where she is sure he is waiting.
By faith the woman whose husband has forsaken her, who now faces a life of hardship and perhaps even poverty, understands that she still has children to raise, and who, despite a life that has completely fallen apart, a broken heart, and endless, but hidden, tears, raises them to be good citizens, good servants, and even to respect a father who has deserted them because that is what God expects her to do.
By faith the one who sees himself counting as nothing in the eyes of his fellows despite hours of work and service, for it is true that those who serve are without honor among their own, remembers that the Someone who really counts does notice and will honor him in His own good time. So he continues to serve, not counting the hours nor the lack of notice, remembering that as much as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to the Lord.
By faith the woman who finds herself falling into yet another bout of depression, refuses to give up, knowing that down days are only normal. Life is filled with ups and downs, just like the line on the monitor over a patient in the hospital. So she pulls herself back up again and fulfills her role as best she can while she can, realizing that it is only the flatliners who are truly spiritually dead. She is still very much alive, and so is her hope.
By faith the man who receives a terminal diagnosis faces it with strength because he believes in the hope God has promised, and sees it as his responsibility to set the example for others.
By faith the couple who loses a child, despite the most horrible pain imaginable, teach their remaining children about a God who loves them and a sibling who will be with them again someday if they will only be as true and faithful as the example their parents are setting before them.
I will let you supply the names to these people. I know them all. Some of them are you.
And what shall I more say? for the time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah; of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, waxed mighty in war, turned to flight armies of aliens. Women received their dead by a resurrection: and others were tortured, not accepting their deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, they were slain with the sword: they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves, and the holes of the earth. And these all, having had witness borne to them through their faith, received not the promise, God having provided some better thing concerning us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. (Heb 11:32-40)