“God delights in His children stepping out over the aching void with nothing underneath their feet except the Word of God.”
Dr. Lillian B. Yeomans
I hope you’ve had a good week and you’re ready for part two of our Faith series! Before we get started, there’s a scripture I want to share with you, and I would encourage you to refer to it quite often throughout this series, and that is Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (KJV) I really like how the Amplified puts it – “And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].” The reason I wanted to share this is to encourage you to take this time to renew your mind and examine – or re-examine – how you look at faith. As you study the scriptures open your mind to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to daily increase your knowledge and understanding.
Let me ask you a question. In whom do you put your confidence? Who in your life can you put complete confidence in and know that no matter what they are going to be there for you and will be with you through thick and thin? Who’s that person that you can trust to keep your deepest secrets and never let you down? Who’s that person who, when they tell you they’re going to do something, you can confidently expect them to do it? I’m sure those of you who have a spouse would be quick to name your spouse. Many of us put confidence in our parents and close family members, or that close friend that we can confide in.
Let’s look at a scripture I’m sure you’re familiar with, Hebrews 11:1. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (KJV) I believe this verse has been hard for us to understand because we’ve looked at it from modern day definitions, so let’s dissect this verse looking at the Greek definitions using Strong’s and Vine’s dictionaries.
- Strong’s uses the words “persuasion”, “a moral conviction of the truthfulness of God,” and “assurance” to define faith. Vine’s is pretty similar but elaborates a little more: “firm persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing.” I thought this was pretty interesting because we know that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) (Just a side note here, conviction is defined as a firmly held belief.) Vine’s further notes that “The object of Abraham’s faith was not God’s promises . . . his faith rested on God Himself.”
- I’ve always heard the word “substance” defined as “confidence, assurance, confident assurance”; which both dictionaries support, but Strong’s also defines it as “a setting under (support)”.
- The word “hope” is defined by Strong’s as “expect”, which is definitely not how we would define it based on the English language.
- Lastly, evidence is defined as “proof, conviction”.
So if we look at this verse in the context of these definitions, I think we could safely define faith – and I’m going to specifically say faith in God (our firm persuasion in the truthfulness of God) – is the support (it’s what we can confidently stand on) for those things we confidently expect, the proof of things not yet unseen.
Now, you can look at other translations and see various other translations of this verse, but I think another verse to look at that makes is so very simple is Romans 4:20-21. This, too, is a familiar chapter that talks about the example of Abraham and these specific verses speak to his faith. “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” That’s pretty much it in a nutshell; being fully persuaded that what God has promised, He is able also to perform it – and the Bible is full of the promises of God. His promises and His Word is what we can confidently stand on.
When I was thinking about this word “substance” and looking at the definitions, I thought about David – and just let me just say here that the more I think about this passage the more I see it as a true picture of David’s faith in God. Remember when he told Saul that the Lord that had delivered him out of the paw of the lion and the bear would also deliver him out of the hand of the Philistine? Then he turns around and tells Goliath the same thing. He said “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand; and I will strike you down.” (My paraphrase) Then I love what he says in verse 47 “And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.” What a perfect picture of confident assurance in his God! David didn’t go out to face Goliath hoping (as we would define it today) that God would deliver him; he went out knowing and expecting God to do one more time what He had done with the lion and the bear! David faced his giant knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt God was going to deliver this giant into his hands!
Whatever you may be facing right know, whatever your “giant” may be, stand on God’s promises, being fully persuaded that what God has promised He will do. If you haven’t written down scriptures that pertain to your specific situation yet, now would be a good time to do that. Read them out loud so that you hear them, read them with authority and let the reality of those promises get deep down inside you. God’s Word is your support, again it’s what He’s given us to stand on. If you need a faith booster, look at Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” We are saved by grace through faith, which is probably our greatest act of faith!
I would encourage you write down those scriptures and meditate on them. Read the scriptures above and ask the Holy Spirit for revelation and understanding. I assure you He will do it if you’ll take the time to get quiet and listen. I pray that your faith will continue to grow stronger as you stand firmly on the promises of God and His faithfulness. If you have any questions or comments or wish to share your “faith” experiences, please share them with us!