What is Faith?


From Pastor’s Desk: 3-6-16

 Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

***

Substance is originally ὑπόστασις hupostasis (hoop-os’-tas-is); a setting under (support), that is, (figuratively) concretely essence, or abstractly assurance (objectively or subjectively): – confidence, confident, person, substance.

Hoped is ἐλπίζω elpizō (el-pid’-zo); to expect or confide: – (have, thing) hope (-d) (for), trust.

Evidence is ἔλεγχος elegchos (el’-eng-khos); proof, conviction: – evidence, reproof.

God’s ways being so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9) lends to the fact that we will never, in this life, comprehend how He thinks (also Isaiah 55:9) or does things.

Does He really expect us to accept at face value a principle that we can’t even begin to understand? Yes, in fact, He does. But He also knows that to understand we need to exercise the faith that He has given in order to do so. There is no comprehending in the humanistic realm. These principles are understood solely in the spiritual realm.

For instance, when we are going through adverse situations, it is not an easy thing to “have” faith that everything is going to be alright. But that what He desires of us. For those who have been in those times (doesn’t that include all of us?), isn’t it amazing how peace pervades the heart and surrounds the situation when faith is exercised?

Only when our mind, heart, and spirit can grasp hold of this principle, even in the midst of turmoil, doubt, and confusion, that the only way we can come out of it in tact is to know that God has given unto every man this measure of faith (Romans 12:3). When that principle is accepted and embraced, victory is assured in the knowledge that our hope (expectation, confidence) has substance (a setting under) that will support it. Things not seen (maybe that “light at the end of the tunnel”) become evident in the scope of faith, when viewed in spiritual perspective.

The Message Bible says it this way: “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.”

We should not be perplexed that God wants us to live a life of/with/in faith. Verse 6 of the same chapter rather underlines that: “It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.”

Okay, everything is lining up pretty good so far, but, what about “evidence?” Short answer: “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

There is no better evidence than God’s word that faith works!

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