When it comes to understanding faith, how it works and what it can do, it is best to turn to Hebrews Chapter 11 where faith is broken down by the Apostles in its simplest term. According to verse 1, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen“. The question then is how many of us truly understand the meaning of this verse? In this article, we’ll look at the definition of faith as outlined in the scripture. To achieve this, we’ll pay close attention to certain keywords that are used throughout the scripture and we’ll begin with a look at the word ‘substance’.
Faith is ‘Substance’
The first thing that we learn about faith from this particular scripture is that faith is substance, and that this substance comes about as a result of things that are hoped for. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines substance as a physical material from which something is made. It defines hope as a desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment. Now having defined the two, one will realize that these two opposites (one being tangible and the other being intangible) work together to produce what we now know as FAITH. The tangible aspect of faith is the physical material that can be seen and touched while the intangible aspect is the inner feeling that gives birth to that physical material. Faith is therefore a physical manifestation of something that cannot be seen with the naked eyes. How amazing this is! So faith really begins with a thought and that thought later produces substance.
Faith is Evidence
If you’re still baffled by what we’ve just discovered, perhaps this next statement will help you to understand the concept even better. According to the scripture, faith is “the evidence of things not seen” and you probably are wondering what this means. Not to worry, here are two examples of the manifestation of faith in our daily lives. If I’m expected to pay a school fee of five hundred thousand dollars and don’t even have the first cent but nevertheless believes in my heart that it will be paid and that it will be paid on time and then behold, it gets paid in its entirety that is Faith! It is in other words, the evidence of what I had hoped for which neither I nor anyone else around me could have seen at the time. Another example of faith is when a person quits a bad habit after he or even a loved one desired in their heart for him to quit even without mentioning it to him. So faith is evidence and this kind of evidence is a result of something that cannot be seen with the naked eyes, HOPE.
Faith is the Key to Understanding the things of God
When we get to Hebrews 11:3, we learn that “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible”. Based on this scripture, we know that faith is what helps us to understand the works of the almighty God. Now, if we were to rephrase this verse to incorporate the definition of faith as mentioned in verse 1, the scripture would read thus “the tangible manifestation of things that are not seen with the naked eyes is what helps us to understand God and the Word of God”. To further cement this point, we can quickly jump to Hebrews 11:6 where it is written that “without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to Him must first believe that He is, and that He’s a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him“. In essence, if a person desires to understand the Word of God the first thing he will need to possess is not necessarily the ability to speak, read or to conduct research but rather the ability to BELIEVE. He must first believe that God is!
Now that we’ve defined faith and have given a few examples of how it works in our daily lives, we can make the distinction between the things that occur as a result of faith and the things that do not occur as a result of faith. So say for example someone gave you a car but you didn’t have the desire to get a car in the first place. That could not be faith, for faith is the substance of something that must first be hoped for and then afterward we see the evidence. On the contrary, if the desire was present before the physical manifestation, the act would have definitely been qualified as faith. So then, faith is substance, it is evidence and the key to understanding the Word of God. It is the physical and tangible manifestation of things that cannot be touched or seen with the naked eyes.
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