The definition of faith is “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1) Substance and evidence are visible and tangible displays of things not yet seen or experienced. Faith is seeing the reality of what is expected (hope) and the proof (evidence) that it is already done. To arrive at such a place of truth, we have to have faith. That’s right; one has to have faith to believe in faith. All Believers are given a measure of faith. (Rom. 12:3b) This type of faith is a foundational faith in which we simply believe the Bible is the Word of God. We accept the truths that are offered and the acknowledging that God said what He meant and meant what He said. This is what I call elementary or foundational faith. Faith of this kind needs to be taught in our Churches, Bible Schools, and Seminaries. If the foundational Faith is not experienced, reasoning will supersede Faith. If we question the contents of God’s Word, we will not be able to pursue the faith of Heb. 11:1. Analysis of God’s Word smothers Faith. If we try to fit spiritual truths into human reasoning, we dilute the Word into simply stories.
The Faith described in Hebrews 11:1 activates the Word of God and sees the accomplishment of Its intended purpose. Joshua knew that the cities of Jericho and Ai would fall because he saw them fall with his faith eyes. When God told Joshua to see it already done, faith took hold and he saw the reality and fulfillment of God’s Word. (Joshua 6:2, 8:2) When Moses was ready to move from a complainer to a proclaimer, he saw himself just as God said he was, “…a god to Pharaoh…” (Ex. 7:1) God called Gideon, who was hiding from the Midianites, a “mighty man of valor.” (Judges 11:12) Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter (rock) well before he became the central character at Pentecost. (John 1:42) The Bible contains many illustrations that display fulfillment before achievement. The faith of Hebrews 11:1 should be the desire of every Believer. The Apostles desired to launch from their foundational faith by asking Jesus to increase their faith. (Luke 17:5) When the disciples were struggling on the Sea of Galilee during a storm, they awoke Jesus and yelled out that they were going to die. Jesus rebuked the waves, and simply asked them where was their faith? (Luke 8:25) They should have seen themselves on the shore of the country of the Gadarenes’ getting ready to minister. The Apostle Paul exhibited Hebrews 11:1 faith when, in the middle of difficult times, he could state that he was more than a conqueror. (Rom. 8:38) Let us read the Word of God with binoculars. Let us see distant promises experienced in the here and now, instead of sometime in our future.
I guess it comes down to asking ourselves if we are content with simply accepting God’s Word, or do we want to choose a Faith that lives in the fulfillment of His Word? Are we happy just knowing about His Truths, or do we want to evidence the reality of those Truths? Do we want to continually petition God to help us cope with our problems, or do we want to see the victory already won? Let us all learn to grow from Faith to Faith, knowing that without the faith of Hebrews 11:1 it is impossible to please God. (Heb. 11:6)