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“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
In Hebrews 11, faith is translated from the Greek word pistis, which means trust or confidence. There is no such thing as blind faith. Real faith is based upon the firm “substance” of sufficient evidence to warrant confidence in what is not yet seen.
By faith the Christian acquires what God promised him. His utter confidence in the One who has made the promises leaves no uncertainty as to their fulfillment in due time. trust thus enables a Christian not only to lay claim to promised blessings but to receive and to enjoy them now. Thus, the promised inheritance becomes a present possession. The good things to come are no longer only dreams to be fulfilled in the future, but living realities in the present. To the eye of faith, what is otherwise invisible becomes visible.
Paul in Hebrews 11 describes men and women who “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 promises was so strong that they could see them in their minds’ eye. Their future homeland, the Kingdom of God, was as real to them as anything else around them. Of the heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11, we read, “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (verse 16).
The scriptures say that “without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], 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—absolute and unshakable trust that God’s promises are true—is the most essential element for entering God’s Kingdom. When we look at the crucified Christ, it is not hard to trust in God and His love for us “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).
In His service,