“ Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.”  – Hebrews 11:1.  

What exactly is faith? Is it positive thinking, or determining to believe something even in the face of difficulties? Do some people just have an innate ability to have more faith than others? Faith is an integral part of Christian life. The Bible views the subject of faith as being important: faith appears 458 times in the New International Version. So what is faith?

First of all, faith is trust. Faith begins when a person chooses an object in which to trust. Christian faith is about trust. Hebrews 11:1 tells us what faith is according to the Bible: “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Faith is the substance or assurance of things we hope for, but have not yet received. Faith is also our evidence of that which is not seen—the invisible spiritual things. Faith comes before a prayer is answered or before an individual has received what he or she has requested from God. If we have received what we asked for, then faith is not needed.

Then faith is action. Faith requires bold action in the face of uncertainty. It is not something you feel; it is something you do. Essentially, faith is hope in motion. The Bible says, “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions?” (James 2:14)  Christians know and love God and shape their life around God without having all of the answers.  

Third, faith is perseverance, Difficulties are inevitable. Obstacles, time, and resistance can cause a person to feel depleted, discouraged, and worn down. Faith requires intentional loyalty. Faith is the willingness to go to immeasurable lengths to keep a promise, even in bleak circumstances. Faith means keeping our eyes fixed on the prize even as wey are renewing and strengthening our faith. 

Finally, faith is confidence in the ending. We have the promise that faith will have a sure, happy ending in spite of the pain in this world; eternal life with God.  James 1:12 says, “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” 

What is faith? To summarize, faith is trust, assurance, and confidence in God. Living faith is not just believing that God exists. It is demonstrated by one’s service and obedience to God.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you define faith? What is the difference between faith and belief?
  2. What can we do this week to renew and strengthen our faith?