Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
To prepare for this devotion, I wanted to find out how others defined faith, how they describe it in their own words. I came upon this anonymous quote in my research. It says, “Faith is all about believing. You don’t know how it will happen. But you know it will.” Hmm, not bad. Google defines faith as “Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” Pretty general I’d say. If you want to know what faith is, this verse in the Bible pretty much says it all, it’s our verse from Hebrews. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”. I like how one commentary explains it, “Faith is to a Christian what a foundation is to a house: it gives confidence and assurance that he will stand.” They continue by expounding on the word “conviction,” which can be translated “proof”. The commentator says, “This is the inward conviction (or proof) from God that what he has promised, He will perform.”*
Now, let’s talk about what faith is not. Faith isn’t a feeling. Our society today runs on emotions and acts out on feelings. Feelings come and go and can change on a whim, so a faith based on feelings is fleeting and isn’t true faith at all.
If we are honest we place faith in a lot of things, don’t we? For instance, right now I am sitting on a chair and I have faith that this chair isn’t going to collapse and make me fall on my floor. We place faith in our cars to get us around town without breaking down. We place faith in people to keep a promise or to do something for us. We all know those things aren’t always dependable, or reliable, and people can disappoint us.
Our emphasis here is in biblical faith. It’s a faith centered on belief in God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9(ESV emphasis mine). Our salvation is by faith alone. We can’t save ourselves. Jesus died in our place to take away and forgive our sins. We place our faith in him for our salvation. We can’t do it any other way. I hope that all of you who are reading this have made that decision. It will be the most important decision you’ll ever make in your life.
We’ll be spending some time talking about faith this month. Perhaps you are wondering how much faith is enough? We will touch on that next week, and I think you will be surprised at the answer.
Shining the Light Brighter – Here is where you can dig deeper to help you learn more and apply God’s word to your life.
- Now that we know what faith is, what have you been placing your faith in? What are some hinderances you may have towards placing your faith in God?
- If you have questions about salvation after reading this blog post, you can contact me at www.carolynelson.com and I would love to talk with you further about the message of the gospel.
*Wiersbe, W.W. (1996). The Bible Exposition Commentary (Vol. 2, pp. 317-318). Wheaton IL: Victor Books