January 23 I Thursday
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” —Hebrews 11:1
There are some who view faith as wishful thinking. They expect that hoping long and hard enough for something will make it come true, but this is not what the writer of Hebrews means by faith being “confidence in what we hope for.” A person who thinks that saying it will be a beautiful, sunny day when it is currently storming and the forecast calls for rain all week does not have faith—they are simply and perhaps naively wishing for a change from what is.
There are others who consider faith to be the opposite of facts. They assume faith is a blind acceptance of an idea when there are no facts to back it up, or at least when the facts have run out. This is closer to the truth, as faith often requires us to believe things that cannot be proven through any objective scientific manner, but this does not mean that we should consider faith apart from facts.
Facts are necessary for the exercise of faith, because faith is not formed from illusionary concepts. Just as we cannot be in love without a recipient of our love, we cannot have faith without an object to place our faith in. Faith only exists in relationship with something or someone. The object of our faith is all-important, because it determines how valid our faith is. No matter how much a person places faith in thin ice, when they try to walk on it they will fall through because their faith is placed in something inadequate. Even though our faith in Christ is the “assurance about what we do not see,” this does not mean that we have to believe blindly. In fact, our faith is more firmly grounded when we believe, based on the teachings of Scripture, the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection and the observable transformation the Holy Spirit brings about in those who believe in Jesus.
Faith requires action, but action that rests in dependency on Christ. When we are driving, we do not sit back idly. We have to keep our hands on the wheel, our foot on the gas and be paying attention, but it is not our power that is driving the car. We rest by depending on the car and its engine to move us from place to place, but we are still alert and active in the process. In the same way, putting our faith in Christ does not mean we sit on a couch and wait for God to act. True faith is confidently depending on Him as we act, assured that His faithfulness will be our strength and sufficiency in every circumstance.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I trust You as the greatest object of faith that will never fail. Thank You for Your faithfulness lived out in me. Praise You!