Recent days have caused me to explain the principles of this verse many times over to several people. The principle is that faith is believing in and trusting in something that has not yet come to pass. It doesn’t take faith to believe your car will crank up in the morning if you are already driving it on the highway. In this case, there is evidence…or “conviction” to use the word the writer of Hebrews uses in this verse. It does take faith, however, to call someone and arrange to meet them before you ever walk out to the garage to get in your car.
God calls His people to be people of faith. Faith is not only a possession, but it is an action…an activity…an attitude…an aspiration. Faith is what we do in response to what God says.
It does not take faith to choose divorce. Divorce is what happens when we choose to believe that our solution will bring more happiness or glory to God than God’s solution. It does not take faith to hold a grudge. Holding a grudge is what happens when we think our sense of justice is better than God’s. It does not take faith to withhold the biblical tithe. This is what we do when we think our understanding of heavenly economics is greater than God’s revelation and instruction. It does not take faith to withhold the gospel from those in desperate need.
Faith is believing that God is Sovereign. Faith is believing that God is good. Faith is believing that God has never lost sight of His people, nor has He lost interest in them or their affairs. Faith is believing that our lives matter and our obedience matters and our service to God matters. Faith is believing that apart from our obedience to share the gospel, people will die without Christ. Faith is believing that if God is for us…no one can resist us because God is for us and to resist us is to resist God! Faith is doing the right thing even when it is hard…in fact, doing the right thing when it is not difficult…requires no faith at all. Faith is placing all of our chips in the middle of te table and believing that God control the cards we are dealt and that whatever the conclusion, God will work all things together for good! Faith is hoping for great things in God and waiting for them to come to pass.
Faith is choosing God over us. It is relying on His Word over our opinion or our emotions or our yearnings. Faith is believing God when the results have yet to manifest themselves before us. And…”without faith it is impossible to please God” and by faith, men gain approval.