The Substance of Faith

Hebrews 11:1 ~ Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
As I meditated on this word, I was compelled to dive deeper into specific words as translated from the original Greek. I am so glad I did, because this scripture grew deeper in meaning and definitely became more applicable to my day to day life. I’ll confess, this scripture was a great one to memorize before I dissected it, but it was more lofty than ‘life like’ for me.

However…here is what I learned.

The word substance is hypostasis, meaning: confidence, trust, being sure, essence.

So I could say
  • Faith is the confidence of things hoped for.
  • Faith is the trust of things hoped 
  • Faith is being sure of things hoped for (I loved this one…being sure! I know that I know that I know!!)
  • Faith is the essence of things hoped for. {Not sure I understood the definition of ‘essence’, I decided to look it up. Not what I expected. There in black in white, it said “something that exists”. The things I hope for exist!!!}
I also learned that Elpizo is the Greek word for ‘hoped for’ and it means having an attitude of confidently looking forward to what is good and beneficial.
Key word for me was ‘attitude’. Being a mother of 4 teenagers…this is a word I am very familiar with. Boy…an attitude can control any situation can’t it!
Attitude is the evidence that the world sees, proclaiming how we really feel. If mom has a grumpy attitude, the entire family keeps their distance. They don't feel they can come to me to talk about things, they are sure not to ask any favors and they turn to other people to get the comfort or nurturing they might need. On the other hand, when mom has a joyful attitude, they are quick to share things with me and seek me out for advice or to share a burden they are carrying.
Does the world see in me 'an attitude of confidently looking forward to what is good and beneficial ' ? Or, does my attitude betray my faith when things are hard because I am focused on the here and now and not looking forward to the good?
This scripture reminds me that if I truly have faith in God, the evidence of that faith is what the world sees in me. It's my attitude that communicates my faith more than my words. I can tell the world that I trust God with every aspect of my life, but if my attitude is one of despair or anxiety, what is the evidence the world sees?
My attitude comes not from the circumstances of the day or the moment, but from the substance of my faith.
  • I am confident that even in the hardest of times, God is present and working.
  • I trust that God is in control when things just don't make sense and the world says I should be stressed out.
  • I am sure that God is in control when things seem to be unraveling before me.
  • When I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, I know that it exists.
This substance of my faith is where my attitude should come from. When I focus on this, my attitude is always one of peace and joy. And Hebrews tells me that this is the EVIDENCE of things not seen.
To those that are lost, my attitude is the evidence of a hope they cannot yet see. In this, I am a witness for the power of Christ.
I can have the best evangelical script in the world, but the evidence of my faith in the hope of those words I speak is the substance that will ultimately lead the lost to salvation. In addition, the evidence of my faith seen in my attitude is the substance that will encourage other believers who are struggling in their faith.
Bottom line, my joy comes from the hope of bringing glory to God. My attitude is a reflection of the joy I have knowing God will be glorified!
God Bless and Keep You,

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