Faith Is More Than We Think


June 9 (Hebrews 11:1, 6)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  (KJV)

In an attempt to be more understandable, most contemporary translations of Hebrews 11:1 miss the force of the Greek original, but the King James Version gets it right.  Faith is the very being and substance of what we hope for.  It is the argument or the proof now of things that have already happened in our future.  A little girl wants and hopes to get a pony for her birthday, but it cannot be said she has faith that she will get it.  It is a desire about a future that has not yet come to pass.  On the other hand, when we have faith “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” as it says in Romans 8:28 or that we will “not perish, but have everlasting life” as we are promised in John 3:16, our faith functions like an airtight legal case, proving to us that these things will happen, for they indeed already have.

Now connect that with Hebrews 11:6.  We are kidding ourselves if we think we have a right relationship with God yet remained unconvinced about His promises.  We can’t claim to follow Him and yet be unsure whether He exists.  We can’t say we are His people and yet not be utterly convinced that He rewards those who seek Him and works things out for their good.

If Jesus were to look us directly in the eyes and say, “Do you believe what I have told you,” too many of us would, if we answered truthfully, say, “Well, um, yeah…I suppose….”  The word for “evidence” in the King James Version is elenchos in the Greek, and it has to do with rhetorical arguments and philosophical proofs.  Our faith should serve us like an irrefutable argument in a trial, one that leads to a conclusion beyond all reasonable doubt.  That is the kind of faith that is truly comforting and that pleases God.

Father, today I take You at Your word.  In all things, big and small, I trust that You are working them out for good.  I reject what my senses, which are often fallible, tell me about the world and I reject the false advice of others that masquerades as truth.  I place all my faith in Your already accomplished promises.  Amen.


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