The Meaning of Faith
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.” (Hebrews 11:1-3, RSV)
Many people struggle with the concept of faith. The struggle usually stems from the fact that for many of us our faith at times can be very weak. Unfortunately many people are even misled in the understanding of where faith comes from and what faith is based upon. We need to come to terms with the fact we cannot conjure up faith. We cannot manufacture it no matter how hard we try. Ephesians makes it clear that faith is a gift.
Secondly, many people tragically struggle with the dilemma of “believing as hard as they can.” Some people are misled into believing that they have missed out on certain benefits or blessing because they didn’t have “strong enough faith.”
The author of Hebrews tells us what the foundation of faith is. Faith is trusting what God has said or promised because God is worthy of being believed or trusted. It is not the strength or measure of our faith that brings to pass what God has promised. It is the very character of God.
So, the writer of Hebrews tell us that faith is the assurance of having the very things hoped for (the promises of God) and a conviction of things being brought to pass that haven’t yet occurred because they are based on God’s character. In other words, the things God has promised are as good as ours because they are backed not by the “strength” of our faith but they are backed by the character and nature of God. God does not and cannot lie. God tells the truth. God is faithful. Therefore what God has promised will be realized because God is the “backer.”
The next time you are wondering if you have believed hard enough or have enough faith, stop. Praise God that your faith in God will be rewarded because God, who promised, is not only faithful, but has the ability to fulfill each and every one of His promises.
The key thought from this scripture is that we believe because of the character of God. What God said He would do, He will do. God is the foundation or the basis of this type of faith. The bottom line is that you are to be so convinced of the truth of God’s promises that you regulate your entire life in this light. What are you trusting God for? What is the basis of your trust or faith? Why would you struggle with wondering if you “believe hard enough” when the fulfillment of God’s promises are not based on the strength of your faith. Rest in the that they are based on God’s character.