Many people who cannot accept that God is real and present simply laugh at the idea of faith. They seem to think that faith is no more than a delusion, that these people are just in denial about the harsh realities of life. In today’s passage we get a definition of faith, and information regarding it’s fundamental importance in our relationship with God. The King James Version says that “faith is the substance of things hoped for” or you could say, it is the thing that brings those hopes alive and makes them real and solid. However, I am fascinated by the pairing of the word faith with the word confidence in the NLT. This is how I described my own faith at my baptism. I vividly remember the sense of total assurance that I knew God was real, and that with that knowledge, I was free to obey his word, knowing confidently that my life was changed for the better from that moment on.
Hebrews 11:1-6 NLT
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith. It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
It is true to say that when I found my faith, I truly understood that everything was made by God, the entire universe as today’s passage puts it. I also understood in that moment, how important it is to acknowledge your faith to God because even your faith is given to you by God (see Jeremiah 32:37-41). It is He who calls you to him, He who softens your heart, opens you eyes and ears. It is not possible to know God with out faith and equally, it is not possible for him to know you. My goal today is to remember that even my faith is a precious gift from God and because of that gift, I can have a personal relationship with him. I can hear the things he wants to say to me and he can hear me when I pray.
Ezekiel 24:1-26:21, Hebrews 11:1-16, Psalms 110:1-7, Proverbs 27:14