Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. – Hebrews 11:1

I want to look back at a few highlights from our study through Hebrews 11 as we finish. I think it is fitting to finish right where the chapter started, with verse 1. Hebrews 11:1 gives us the most comprehensive definition of faith in the Scriptures. It says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Faith, if you remember back to when we started this study, is not a force or will power. It is a gift from God. It is trust. Belief. Saving Faith is knowing Jesus Christ personally. It is taking God at His Word. The object of our faith is Christ. The result of having faith in Christ is good works that flow out of an obedient heart motivated by love for God. To start it all off we explained what this verse really means. It is oft quoted and just as likely to be misunderstood by those who talk about faith today. So what did we learn?

It is not enough to think that faith is belief in God. No, it is believing God. It is not a belief about, it is a trust that serves as the foundation of a relationship. We take God at His Word, we trust Him, we believe Him! We have learned that this trust, this belief is the “substance of things hoped for.” The word substance means literally “existence” and refers to having the most solid possible conviction, the absolute assurance of reality.

Faith, this deep abiding trust in Christ, gives substance to a reality for which we hope. We believe that the Word of God is true and that God meant what He said, and we take Him at His Word, having His Word give actual substance to our hopes. Faith makes our hope a tangeable reality.

Further, faith is the “evidence of things not seen.” Here the word evidence means proof, it is the proving of unseen things, or even an inner conviction about what is real and what is not. It is evidence. Faith gives us proof that the Word of God is true and that Jesus is Lord. It provides us with an inner conviction of things we cannot even see. We know it is real, we are sure even though we cannot see.

We are assured of what is true and what is real. For us, those of us who have placed our faith in Christ, we know who He is, not because we hope or dream, but because we are His. So we see then that faith is the most solid possible conviction and absolute assurance of what we hope for, and it is the proof and inner conviction of the reality of things we cannot see with our eyes.