Welcome to My Thoughts and the second segment of our Faith for the Believer series. In this segment, Uncommon Faith, I will discuss the meaning and description of faith and some different translations of faith in Hebrews 11:1.
The faith I will speak of is not ordinary human faith, but the God-kind of faith that gives you the confidence to know God will always come through. It also gives us the patience to trust God and His timing is perfect. What I will give you is not the definition, but the description of what faith does and how it works.
Open your Bibles and turn to Hebrews 11:1-3, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it, the elders obtained a good testimony. 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.”
Faith is the Substance
The keywords in Hebrews 11:1 are substance and evidence. Let us take a look first at the word substance. The Greek word is hupostatis meaning support, steadiness, and assurance. Its literal meaning is “to stand under or to support.” So Christians can relate faith to what a foundation does to a house. It gives us confidence and assurance it will stand firm no matter the circumstances.
We can take the first part of Hebrews 11:1 and say, “Now faith is the confidence of things hoped for.” When a believer’s faith is built up, it is God’s way of giving us the confidence and assurance what is promised to us will be experienced.
Faith is the Evidence
Let us take a look at the second part of Hebrews 11:1, “the evidence of things not seen.” The Greek word for evidence is elegchos meaning a proof or test. The literal meaning is, “the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.”
We can replace evidence with the word conviction. Overall, it is the inward conviction from God, what He has promised or assured, He will accomplish or perform. The God-kind of faith in your heart is the conviction or evidence enough to know God will keep His word. We have the proof, which is the Word of God or the Bible. Stand by it. Remember, the foundation of faith is believing and receiving.
Some Translations of Faith
English Standard Version (ESV): Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
New Living Translation (NLT): Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”
New American Standard Bible (NASB): Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.”
Good News Translation (GNT): To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, and to be certain of the things we cannot see.
The Living Bible (TLB): What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.
New English Translation (NET): Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC): Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
What Is Uncommon Faith?
Good question, so let us dig into uncommon faith. We know what the God-kind of faith is and what it does and works. Now, let us take a look at the word uncommon. It means out of the ordinary, unusual. We can use similar words such as abnormal, atypical, or unconventional.
Now, let us dig just a little deeper into this uncommon faith we can develop. There are four elements to uncommon faith and we will use Hebrews 11:1 and 11:3 to explain.
Now faith is.
Using the opening phrase in Hebrews 11:1, we find Faith is always in the present tense, hence the word “Now”, and never tomorrow. Building your faith allows you to grasp the unrealities of hope and bring them into the realm of reality. Issues in your life in the natural, that your family and friend say there is no way it will ever change, your faith says the impossible is possible.
So, how do we build our faith and make the impossible possible? The answer exists in the Word of God now. Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” You get the Word of God down in your heart, your faith will go get it, and bring it to you.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for.
Let us take another look at the first part of Hebrews 11:1 as it states, “the substance of things hoped for.” It is the ground, confidence, and assurance of what we desire. If anything has substance, it is tangible. The word “tangible” means perceptible by touch. Other words used could be physical, concrete, material, or definite. So, we could say faith is the “definite of things hoped for.”
Faith is also the raw material that produces the manifestation of what we desire to see in the natural. Manifestation is an “event, action, or object that clearly shows something.” What it does is it brings out what we want to see in, even though realistically, it cannot be seen by the naked eye.
So, what faith does is it brings into the hearing, seeing, feeling realm or the natural. Those things are not yet revealed to the physical senses, such as health and provision.
Faith is the substance that brought the universe into existence—the unseen realm into the seen realm.
We can answer number three by looking at Hebrews 11:3: “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.” To verify this verse, take your Bible, and turn to the book of Genesis, chapter one. In most of these verses, it states, “and God said.” All God did was speak and by faith, it got done.
Hebrews 11:3 proves beyond any doubt, faith is the parent force of all that exists. In some translations, the word framed is replaced with the word created. Used in the past tense, it means “bringing something into existence.” Other words used are produce, design, and fabricate. So, our worlds are framed or created by the faith words that we speak.
Faith is the evidence of things not seen.
Let us replace the phrase “not seen” with the word unseen. Now, let me ask this question, “what is presently unseen in your life?” Is it issues with your health, finances, a lost one not saved, or wanting a new job or position? In Greek, unseen aoratos means invisible.
Viewing issues in the natural or in the physical realm is not the God-kind of faith I have been talking about. It is human faith that does not please God (Hebrews 11:6). It will only leave you broken and confused. It also brings fear and unbelief.
Now, let us view those issues in the unseen or spiritual realm. The foundation of faith is believing and receiving. They walk hand-in-hand. If you believe it, then you will receive it. To receive it, you must believe it.
To obtain this “God-kind” of faith, you need to get into the Word of God and get it down into your heart. Once you do, your faith is the only evidence you will need to reveal it is yours now. Your faith will be all the proof needed to assure you of possessing what you cannot see in the natural or physical realm. Remember, “If God’s Word says it is mine, it is mine. That is all the proof I need.”
Uncommon Faith Has It NOW!
What are you hoping for that is not seen? Let us use these three Scriptures:
- Philippians 4:19 says we have hope for the finances to meet the need. Faith gives us the assurance that we will have the money NOW.
- 1 Peter 2:24 says we hope for healing to deliver us from pain. Faith gives us the assurance that we are already healed NOW.
- Philippians 4:7 says we hope for peace to deliver our mind from worry. Faith gives us the assurance that we have the peace of God that passes all understanding NOW.
Uncommon faith says, “If God’s Word says it is so, then it is so.” Uncommon faith says, “I see it, I take it, and I have it, NOW”
Faith, as noted in Hebrews 11:3, is a very practical thing in spite of what unbelievers say or think. It enables us to do these three things:
- Understand what God does. Faith enables us.
- To see what others cannot see (physical vs. spiritual).
- To do what others cannot do.
People laughed at great men and women when they stepped out by faith, but God was with them and enabled them to succeed to His glory. Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.
The best way to grow in faith is to walk with the faithful. Read the rest of Hebrews 11 and you will find the same elements of faith I just spoke about:
- God spoke to them through His Word.
- Their inner selves were stirred in different ways.
- They obeyed God.
- He bore witness to them.
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I fully agree on God’s Word!
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