July 02, 2023

Defining Faith

Hebrews 11:1-6

Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

—  Hebrews 11:1

Maybe you’ve played the “Trust-Fall” game. To engage in this game, you stand straight and fall backward into the arms of someone who is standing there, ready to catch you. If you have played this game, you know how hard it is to fall back without bending your waist. Entrusting yourself to a support you can’t see is never easy. It requires faith.

Before we join Abraham on his journey of faith, we need to understand what true faith is. Often we think of faith like a spare tire—something we might need in case of emergency to keep us moving on the road of life. As a result, we tend to replace faith with something that seems more tangible, more substantial.

Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Faith is a firm belief about something we cannot see or completely ­figure out. But faith is not blind, and it does not conflict with reason. It simply rises above ­reason and operates on a different level. It doesn’t say, “In human analysis I trust.” Rather, it says, “In God I trust.”

Like a rope that a mountain climber uses to rappel down a cliff, faith leans back and relies wholly on Jesus. It involves choosing to act in dependence on God. And when we do, God is pleased.

Lord, you know how hard it is for us to trust you with our lives. Help us in our times of unbelief. Bolster our sagging faith so that we may walk confidently with you. Amen.

About the author — Dan Jongsma

Daniel Jongsma serves as an interim pastor in Fulton, Illinois. He has pastored congregations in Elmhurst and Fulton, Illinois; in Dearborn, Michigan; and in Nashville, Tennessee. Dan also served as a church planter in the Chicago area. He and his wife, Gloria, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

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