Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
I love this verse! I pay special attention to faith verses anyway, because I know from Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is impossible to please God, but this verse seems extra special – overflowing with revelation and promise.
As my pastor points out often, the first three words make a foundational statement about faith – NOW faith is. Faith is, and always will be, in the present tense (which is right in line with God’s declaration about himself – “I AM”). We cannot live on yesterday’s faith and we must not set faith aside today, planning to pick it up again tomorrow. We must walk by faith now. We must also walk in “the now kind of faith,” trusting that God already has answered the prayer or provided the need, and that we have the answer and provision now even if we can’t touch it yet. At first this can seem an impossible thing to do, but the more we study God’s Word the more we see that this is, indeed, the way faith works.
Keep reading the verse and you learn even more about faith.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for…
We hope for a thing, then, before we have faith for it. Too, faith is a substance one has or, as the Amplified version expresses it, “…the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed).” Think on that. If you have faith for a thing, you already have the assurance that it is yours, confirmation that it is yours, and the title-deed to it! Faith is a substantial thing and…it is evidence.
…the evidence of things not seen.
When God opened my eyes to the truth of this phrase, my excitement knew no bounds. Faith is evidence! Whenever I truly trust God to supply something, when I have faith in God’s provision in a specific area, the very fact that I have this faith is sufficient evidence that the answer is there; my inability to see or touch it is immaterial.
God is wonderful about giving me illustrations, and He gave me a great one for this verse.
In school, we all learned the basics of fire safety (Who can forget “Stop, drop, and roll”?) and one of the things we were taught is that, in cases of fire, we should test any door before opening it. Put your hands on the door and, if it’s hot, that’s all the evidence you need that there is a fire on the other side.
In the one case heat is the evidence that there’s fire on the other side of the door. In the other case, faith is the evidence that whatever you’ve hoped for is on the other side of the door. Awesome!