What is faith?
The Bible states, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). In this passage, faith is translated from the Greek word pistis, which means trust or confidence. Faith is not an abstract belief that evidence exists but is a settled assurance, based on confidence that God will fulfill His promises. Thus, there is no such thing as blind faith. Real faith is build upon the solid “substance” of enough evidence to justify trust in what is not yet seen.
We may never have seen the generator that generates the electricity we use, but we see the power of the electricity, which is enough proof for the existence of the generator. In like manner, we may not see God but we believe that our physical, mental, and spiritual power witness to His existence.
By faith the believer obtains what God promised him. His full trust in the One who has made the promises leaves no doubt as to their fulfillment in the right time (1 Peter 5:6,7). Trust helps a Christian not only to lay claim to promised blessings but to receive them now. Thus, the promised inheritance becomes a present reality. To the believer, what is invisible becomes visible. What is unreal becomes real.
The heroes of faith
Paul, in Hebrews 11, describes men and women who “all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (verse 13). Their faith in God’s Word was so strong that they could see the fulfilled promises in their minds. Their future homeland was as real to them as anything else on this earth. Their faith obtained for them God’s favor. “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God” (verse 16).
The faith of “heroes” puts forth godly actions, which prove the truthfulness of their confession. Some of these heroes had weaknesses. But if only the perfect heroes of faith were listed there, the Bible record will not be encouraging for the common person. If people who were subject to “like passions as we are” (James 5:17) could have “a good report,” there is every reason to trust that even the weakest of God’s children today may do the same.
Faith and faithfulness are the ultimate need of those that wait for Jesus’ second coming. Some may give up their faith because the Lord appears to delay His coming. But all such need patience in order that they may live by faith (Hebrews 10:37). The truth is that God’s promises will eventually come to pass as they have always done in the past (2 Peter 3:9).
God’s love inspires faith
The scriptures say that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Faith—firm and unshakable trust that God’s promises are true—is the most necessary element for admission to God’s Kingdom. But how can we have this faith?
The Bible declares that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Love is the main attribute of the Creator with respect to His creatures. It is the controlling force in His government. Therefore, when we look at the crucified Christ, it is not hard to be inspired with faith in God and His love for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).
In His service,
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