Faith (part 3) - "things hoped for"
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Herews 11:1)
In Hebrews 11 we are given the only attempt in all of the Scriptures to describe faith. The author also illustrates how faith operated in the lives of the Old Testament believers. He was writing to a body of believers who were struggling with such strong persecutions and some were in fact turning away from their profession of faith. Today many Christians do not know or even forget the importance of the role of faith in everyday life to the point where they too are abandoning what they once believed. I trust that as we look at this passage your faith would be strengthened, and that as we serve the Lord, we may not forget that it takes faith to please God.
When the Bible speaks of 'hope' as in this case, it is not referring to something that has possibilities, or chances of either happening or not happening. The point is Bible hope is a confident or assured or guaranteed expectation. Because God said it, you can guarantee it is going to happen. Faith therefore relates to future realities which we can fully or confidently expect to happen. Here are some examples in the Bible:
1. In Acts 23:6 Paul speaks of the 'hope and resurrection of the dead.' Every believer can look forward to enjoying life after death.
2. Galatians 5:5 tells us of the 'hope of righteousness.' One day, we will be made completely right with God. One day, we don't have to deal with our sinful flesh.
3. Titus 2:13 we have the 'blessed hope and glorious appearing of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.' We will meet Him in the air, He will gather us at the rapture of the saints, and we will forever be with the Lord.
What a wonderful prospect of the future! Faith sure takes away all of my fears. We know that these things are going to happen simply because God said it, He is not a liar, therefore it will come to pass.