- Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Biblical faith is one of the most amazing things. By it we can be saved, we can watch God move mountains, and we can live with eternal purpose. Without it, we can make no real sense of anything on earth, for by the Lord’s design, it is how we connect our earthly life with the real and invisible, spiritual world.
As we see in this famous Hebrews passage, godly faith deals much with our minds, with our thinking. It has to do with us considering the past, the present, and the future. Through faith today we plan and act for things to come, based on facts from the past. Thanks to this faith, we do not stumble along in the fog of unbelief, confusion, and hopelessness.
Godly faith is not a blind, irrational leap into the unknown. God does not ask this of us, nor does He expect us to walk rashly into the future. He may not reveal to us the specific details of what lies ahead, but He always gives some understanding of the destination, and a hope that is rooted in His past dealings. This is true faith, and without it, we will never see God nor enjoy His pleasure.
The author of this chapter first makes us think of the past, reminding us that what we see and feel today comes from God’s creative Word first given long ago. The Word is invisible but it spoke into existence the tangible world around us. It was no ignorant, random, invisible nothingness that brought space, time, and matter into reality. That is nonsense. It was an intelligent, orderly, invisible Being who pronounced, and things began.
We communicate with God as our own invisible spirit relates to Him in rational, reasoning faith. He has never stopped speaking, and even today, through His written Word, He continues to reveal His will. When we exercise our minds in discovering and doing what He wants, we are properly using the marvelous gift of faith.
Much of this eleventh chapter is written to encourage us and show us what faith looks like in real, day to day living.