Tears were streaming down our cheeks. Cries of anguish and helplessness could be heard. We had received a message from a good friend of ours that stated, “My husband has been killed!” It was a night we will never forget.
Our family began praying and praying and praying!! Through tears, pain in our hearts. we cried out to God. Conjuring as much faith as we could believing that God could raise him from the dead. Honestly, we had faith God could do it.
But as minutes turned into hours that turned into days (yes we continued to pray and have faith that God could still raise him from the dead), it became evident God was not going to raise him from the dead. It seemed as though we didn’t have enough faith.
Have you ever prayed, in faith, for God to do something, even something crazy and it didn’t happen?
Have you ever wondered if maybe you didn’t have the faith even as small as a mustard seed for God to move in your life or the things you were praying for? Have you ever felt as though your faith was inadequate? Me too…
I have been taught that faith is something I have, almost like a commodity. If I want to see God work, I must conjure up as much faith as I possibly can. I need to have faith to “pay” God to move. Because if I have enough faith in God, then God will act in my life. Yet, honestly, I rarely see this happen. Therefore, I can conclude, my faith is smaller than a mustard seed and I don’t have enough of it. I mean how much faith must I have for God to move or to even be saved?
But what if I have a misunderstanding of what faith really is?
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – NIV
I have a lot of confidence in God. So much so that I still believe that he can raise people from the dead, heal people of cancer, and stop evil things from happening, yet it seems as though my faith, my confidence just isn’t enough to move the hand of God. I don’t possess enough faith for God to move in my life and in other people’s lives. “Oh me of little faith.” This makes me wonder, am I missing something?
Let’s start with the first few words from different translations:
- “Now faith is confidence” – NIV
- “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for.” – RSV
- “Now faith is the reality of things hoped for” – HCSB
- “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for” – KJV
- “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for.” – NLT
So according to these different translations faith is…confidence, assurance, reality, and substance. What?! Those seem like different terms. So what is going on?
If we look at the greek it says, Faith is hypostasis.
Hypostasis means – “The underlying state or underlying substance and is the fundamental reality that supports all else.”
What is the underlying state or substance that supports all else (everything)?
The Son is the image of the invisible God (Jesus), the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
So it seems as though scripture is saying that the definition of faith is Jesus. So what would happen if we substitute Jesus for faith?
- “Now (Jesus) is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – RSV
- “Now (Jesus) is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – KJV
- “Now (Jesus) is the reality of things hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” – HCSB
- “Now (Jesus) shows the reality of what we hope for, it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” – NLT
- “Now (Jesus) is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – NIV
This changes many things.
- Jesus is the assurance, substance, reality, and confidence in what we hope for!
- Jesus is the conviction, evidence, proof, and assurance of what we cannot see!
- What can’t we see? – God the Father, our future, the unknown, etc.
Faith is not a commodity that I have or something I must conjure up to be a Christian, or get God to do something. It is the faithfulness of Jesus at work in each of our lives and in every situation. God’s work is not up to me or my faith. Jesus healed people without them asking to be healed. God will do what He wants to do and his actions are ALWAYS an act of love. So if God’s work is not up to me (my faith) then my job is to respond when I see God’s movement. God’s movement in my life is a testament to HIS faithfulness to me. By responding I will experience God’s faithfulness in ways I could never experience. Just read on in Hebrews!
Hebrews goes on to list men and women who responded to the reality of God’s calling and His faithfulness in their lives and look at what happened! So let me be a first responder to God’s calling on our lives, even the small, simple, mundane things.
Even though God did not raise our good friend from the dead, I will continue to pray and ask God to do miracles in my life and in the lives of others. But I am free from believing that God’s movement is up to my faith. I will lean on the truth that Jesus is the reality of things hoped for, and is the evidence of what I cannot see.