What is Faith?
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).
This verse may be well-worn for you, one that’s lost its vigor and, therefore, its full effect in your life. In the last few days we have attempted to define what it means to have confidence in our faith.
Our confidence comes from Christ! Our hope anchors in a new covenant ushered in by the perfect, once for all sacrifice of Christ for the forgiveness of sins to sanctify us and make us fit to draw near to God. The confession of our hope is Christ’s incarnation, Christ’s perfection, Christ’s offering, and Christ’s position next to God on the throne as High Priest.
Faith is a tricky concept, often confused and misused. Yet, one thing we can conclude is that our issue is not for more faith but for two things: more assurance and more endurance. The confession of our faith is as certain as Christ’s power over death and occupation of the throne. To grow in confidence in this faith, let us take up this call to grow in full assurance of our hope and to grow in endurance through trial.
If the righteous shall live by faith, the expression of our faith manifests itself in choosing to endure by faith and enter with assurance into the very presence of God. The constant commands to hold fast to the confession of our hope are meant to persuade us of our need to live by this faith in the midst of a life ridden with trials and suffering. Our hope is anchored and secure, but that reality will be proven to our hearts as we face hardship and endure by faith in God’s promises. By this process, our assurance of hope grows fuller. This is why the apostle Paul can say, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
Does this affect the way you understand Hebrews 11:1?