“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for” ( Hebrews 11:1-2 )
In the natural realm, faith doesn’t make sense. Because faith cannot be seen, understood or explained when situations beyond human control require its use. And yet faith is absolutely necessary for the believer. In fact, faith is the first and only thing required of us when we come to God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Later on in this chapter the writer draws attention to the fact that without faith we cannot please God, which means it is absolutely necessary (Hebrews 11:6).
Paul told the believers in Corinth, “We live by faith, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7). If this is the case, it is important to know what faith is, so that we can regulate and conduct ourselves in faith, not by what we see, taste, touch, hear or feel.
This passage in Hebrews is the mere definition of faith. It is being sure, certain and confident of the things we hope for. The King James Bibles tells us that faith is a substance. And the Amplified Bible puts it best when it calls faith the title deed of the things we hope for. If we have the title deed to something we own it.
The Amplified goes on to explain it this way, “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is what assures and having faith is perceiving as real what is not yet evident in the natural realm. The ancients had it; otherwise they would not have seen nor done the things they did.
Faith is what carries you from point A to point B. You can hope for something but faith is the substance that moves you forward until you experience it. Take salvation for example. We receive this by faith. Being saved is not something that you can see, hear, smell, touch or feel. However, chances are if you’ve experienced it no one can talk you out of it because your faith is the substance that testifies to you that it is real and genuine. The hope of salvation hasn’t been realized yet, in the sense that we still are on this earth, but faith is what assures us that salvation is a done deal and one day very soon the hope of salvation will be realized.
This same principal applies to all situations in the believer’s life. This is why the writer declared at the end on Hebrews 10, “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved” (Hebrews 10:39). Why? Because we have faith! We have the title deed to the things that God has promised us. All we need to do is believe them until the hope of them is realized. “This is what the ancients were commended for” (Hebrews 11:2). They believed God when all seemed lost and obtained a good report.
It is important to stand firm in what you know, not letting anyone or anything talk you out of faith. Faith is believing God and resting in His promises until fulfillment comes. Let faith convince you of reality even before you see what has been promised in the natural. This is what pleases God (Hebrews 11:6).