A simple question that usually provokes a complicated response is this:
“What do you believe?”
Indeed this is the most important question that a person can ever ask or be asked. The question is one that Jesus asked of many before performing any kind of miracle… “Do you believe that I am able?”
Yet why did He ask the question and why is it so important?
Today we are going to examine faith and what is actually is and what it is not.
Now the Bible describes faith using two different methods. Some people have made the claim that the definitions of faith contradict each other, but actually they do not. It is simply two different ways t describe the same thing because some people will understand more the first definition and less the second; while for others the reverse will be true.
So let us take a look at each definition of faith from the Bible, the most famous quote from the Bible about faith and the first which we will examine is found in Hebrews 11:1:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
We have all read this verse and heard it so many times that many of us have become dead to what it is actually saying, so let us meditate on it for a moment and break it down a bit.
Note that the scripture is saying that Faith is the Substance of things hoped for.
Now we first should note that the way the Bible uses the word “hope” is not our modern thought of what the word means… Today we generally think of the word hope in a negative and unsure manner and use it as such in our speech. For example, “Gee, I hope so…”
We use the word hope in a very doubtful manner, but that is not how the Bible uses the word. In the Greek text, the word hope is elpís, which translates to “confidently and with pleasure, expecting a good thing”.
So we can see that it is different than how we would normally use the word hope today, and a different manner of thinking. Now let’s put that new definition of the word together with the scripture verse that we just read:
“Now faith is the substance of things [confidently and with pleasure expected] for, the evidence of things not seen”
If we really had confidence and believed for the things we claim to have faith for, we really would be joyfully excited about them wouldn’t we?
Being the game player that I am (or “Gamer”), I often find new games that I really want… and there was one game in-particular that I really wanted a lot. However it being new, it was prohibitively expensive for me to purchase at that time, and so I asked Go about it. – You know God is not above caring about our small desires – I asked God for the game, and at that moment I settled it in my mind that I asked, He heard me, and the game was already on its way. That was it!
I began to get excited about the game as if I already had it. I registered on forums just to talk about this new game that I got – even though it wasn’t in my hands yet — I looked up all kinds of tips and strategies to improve my skills in playing the game – even though I’ve never played it yet – and I even laid in bed that night praying and as I was praying I added “Thanks for the game!”.
I was convinced! And you know, the LORD gave me that game in
the time span of three days. How? I don’t know or even care about the little details, but all I know is that the scriptures were fulfilled and my faith was the substance of the thing that I confidently and with pleasure expected for.
Now why do some people ask God for financial blessing, or for healing and not receive? Why does God grant me a thing as simple and meaningless as a game and not have certain people healed?
Healing is real, and provided for at the cross (along with everything else), and those of you who know my life story know also that healing is very real today…
My friends the reason why people do not receive these things has not been changed since Jesus first mentioned the reason back in the time of Matthew 17:20… “Because of unbelief”.
Most who ask for these things, do ask, and they have a measure of belief in God, but not in the thing being granted! They ask and then proceed as normal, like nothing has changed! My friends! Believe that something has changed! Proceed as though the thing is granted!
We don’t have enough time to cover the second verse of scripture today but now you have something to look forward to next time!
Have faith in God, and that He grants the requests of His children, for He cares for you.