The Definition of Faith


When I was little, I thought faith meant believing that God was real. If you said you had faith, it meant that you were a Christian. Yet, as I grew older, I realized that you could have faith in many different things.

You can have faith in people.

In different religions.

In your own abilities.

In circumstances.

And in the Creator of the Universe.

In this study, we are going to be working our way through Hebrews 11. And the first three verses define faith as what Paul meant when he penned this book nearly 2000 years ago.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. 

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”

Confidence and assurance. 

Faith isn’t merely closing our eyes and guessing everything will be okay. It’s a deep rooted belief in something. Faith comes from an intimate knowledge of holder of that faith.

In his Bible study Faith Hope and Luck, Andy Stanley defines faith as, “Confidence that God is who He says He is and that He will do everything He promises He’ll do.”

Faith comes from intimacy.By-Faith-Ladies'-Bible-Stud

You can’t have confidence that God is who He says He is, if you don’t know who He has said He is. You can’t be sure that He will do what He promises if you don’t know what He has promised.

The perfect example of this was given as the first credit of faith in Hebrews 11 (vs 3) when Paul wrote, “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”

That’s Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Do you have faith that God is the Creator, and He made everything from nothing (Gen 1:2)?

Scripture teaches us so much about who God is and what He has promised for us. We could (and should) spend the rest of our lives digging deeper into who He is. As Paul wrote in Romans 11:33:

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!”

We have an amazing God, who has done and will continue to do amazing things. And the more we learn about Him, the more faith we will have.

And that faith has the power to change our lives. 

When we have faith in God, we stress less. We trust Him to work all things out for the good of those who love Him.

We don’t worry about our failures, because we know God’s will will prevail.

We understand that others will let us down, but we are still able to love them with no strings attached.

Faith is powerful.

Because of the power of faith, it’s important that we know, really know, where we put it. Misplaced faith can do great damage. It will fail us time and again, and can even lead to harm.

So today, I encourage you to dig deeper into God’s Word and grow your faith by intimately loving our God and Savior.

==> You can download this weeks study sheet here

In the comments…

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