Faith (Part 1)
(Hebrews 11:1 KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is the very thing that gets us out of bed in the morning. When this passage speaks about how faith is the substance of things hoped for it is talking about that which holds up our hope.
The word substance is translated from the Greek word:
From a compound of G5259 and G2476; a setting under (support), that is, (figuratively) concretely essence, or abstractly assurance (objectively or subjectively): - confidence, confident, substance.
It is much like the faith in the floor that we stand upon. We have the faith that when we stand up out of our seats that the flooring upon which we stand is sitting upon a firm foundation that it will not give when we put our weight upon it. In fact we could even jump up and down upon it and it will hold our weight firmly.
It is the same substance that holds up our hope in spiritual matters. It often amazes me how many people will claim not to be spiritual yet will be the same people who readily know which sign of the zodiac they are. We were created to be spiritual as well as physical and intellectual beings. We were created in the image of God. In God you have the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In us you have the physical the mental and the spiritual.
So faith is that which we stand upon that holds up our hope. Without hope we have nothing. Too many people walk through life without a hope for a better tomorrow. The farmer plants his seeds in the spring with a strong hope for a good harvest in the fall. The business man invests his money in an enterprise with a hope of a large profit. And God gave His life with the hope of bringing you, His prodigal sons and daughters back home.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. It is also the evidence of things unseen. Abraham called things that were not as if they were and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
I was flipping through the channels and came across the end of the movie series the Matrix. It was a very strange movie about a future over run by technology. And the war between man and machines. In it one man sacrifices his life for the whole of mankind. Sound familiar? But at the end a little girl walks up the character that played the oracle, or prophet, if you will and asks..
“Did you know?”
The oracle replies,
“No, but I believed.”
That is the depth of many peoples faith. But I want you to know that your faith in God can go further than just a simple belief. Your faith can be clear evidence of things yet, unseen.
As we look through this 11th chapter of Hebrews we are shown men and women of faith who changed the world.
From Able to Enoch, to Noah to Abraham and Sarah, from Isaac and Jacob and Moses and on and on through David and the prophets, all these great men and women of faith lived lives that were evidence in themselves of the heaven that awaits us on the other side of this veil of life.
So. I ask you today. What do you have faith for? I know, the first question should be who do you have in? But what I want you to ask yourself right now is what do you have faith for?
I spend a great deal of my ministry uncovering the historical truth in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because if there would be one thing that would make me stand up and take notice I believe it would be a man coming out of the grave and telling me to stick my hands in his wounds. I have faith in the resurrection. Granted I was not an eye witness, but there is enough evidence for me to have no doubt that Jesus Christ was raised from the grave.
And because that impossibility was made possible than everything else He said can therefore be taken with more reliability. He told us that if we believed in Him we would have eternal life. I believe Him. He told us that our sins would be forgiven because of the sacrifice He made for us upon that cross. I believe Him. He told us that he has gone before us to prepare a place for us that where He is we will be also. I believe Him.
He also told us that if we chose not to believe then there was a completely different fate awaiting us. A fate so eternal and dreadful that many care not to speak of it. A fate of complete separation from God and love as far, and as eternal, as any separation can be.
The sad thing is that many people are living their daily lives walking in that separation and the only hope that they have to stand upon is the hope of the few short days they have to live on this small little rock spiraling through space and time.
All of these great men and women of faith that we read about in this 11th chapter of Hebrews had faith in God for a future. A future brighter than any days of their past. A future for themselves and their children and their children’s children.
As we look at the news we too often do not see much hope in this world. We see wars and rumors of wars. We see famines and earth quakes, we see storms and destruction. One does not have to look far to realize that our only true hope is to look beyond the physical and past the intellectual and into our spiritual make up to find both the problem and the solution to our eternal struggle.
Hebrews 11:6 has become one of my foundational passages of scripture it tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Because you first must have the faith that God is.
To me, it takes less faith to believe in God then to believe that this is all some cosmic random mistake. It is easier to think that there was an explosion in a print shop and the encyclopedia was formed then to think that an explosion of nothing grew and developed over billions and billions of years into arms and legs and eyes and men and women and children creating music and art and laughter and tears…. It is easier to believe in God and that He is, then to believe in evolution. It takes less faith to believe the truth then it does to believe any fairy tale, made up to deny the truth. Any one who does chooses to not believe the truth has to work harder everyday to build up their wall of illusion then to see the truth of a loving God who died and rose again to give them forgiveness and eternal life.
If you have never accepted the truth of God’s love for you then today is the day that you can knock down that wall of illusion and embrace the truth and receive the great love that has always been waiting for you. God has His arms spread open wide welcoming you home. All you have to do is say yes, LORD. Yes LORD, YES, YES, YES, LORD.
Then the second part of that verse gets even better because it does not end there, but God assures us that He is indeed a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Our relationship with God does not have to end at our salvation. In fact it should be just the beginning. God has an eternity of blessings waiting for you. The deeper you dig in. the more you seek His will for your life. The more you put your trust in Him the greater and greater the rewards and blessing will flow to you and through you.
Faith is not a one time act or decision. It is a great adventure. With every step you take you are putting your faith in the ground you walk upon. With every step of faith you take you are getting closer and closer to God.
Are you ready to take that next step of faith? Are you ready to look ahead and see a brighter future? In the movie the Matrix the main character had to be come blind before he could really see. Too often we are blind to the reality of God’s magnificent presence all around us. I invite you to right now open the eyes of your heart and see the brightness of God’s great love for you and to embrace His love. He is our hope. He is our strength He is the way the truth and the life.
Put your faith in Jesus today and walk on and firm foundation of eternal love.