Understanding Faith

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb 11:1 (KJV)

The Bible talks about faith in many places, but we usually confuse faith with hope. But, we can see from Heb 11:1, that faith is taking hope to another level. According, to the verse, faith essentially consists of two parts. The first part is what we call as hope and the part that lies with our thinking. This is what most people confuse with faith, but faith doesn’t stop there.

The second part, of the verse, which most people fail to practice and in fact the most important part is, the action part. As the King James Version beautifully terms it, evidence(signs or indications of something). Thus, one cannot have faith just by hoping for something; but should also show ‘signs’ or ‘indications’ of their faith.

“By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Heb 11:8.

For example, we see in the case of Abraham, the man well known in the bible for his faith. He showed ‘signs’ of his faith by moving out of his father’s place, and stepping out into the unknown trusting and obeying God, and was rewarded.

“By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark…” Heb 11:7.

Another example from the bible is the case of Noah, who by faith obeyed God. Though not seeing any rain or storm, trusted God and acted upon his faith in God, and was rewarded. Thus, we can see numerous examples in the bible for people who put actions behind their faith.

And, by that I mean people who were able to act as if they had already received what they had hoped for; their actions are in accordance with what they believe in. Abraham did not wait for God to tell him where to go, but by faith left his father’s house when God called him. Also, Noah did not wait for the clouds to become dark and gloomy to start building the ark, he started it when the skies were clear and there were no signs of rain.They were not waiting to act cause the things they have hoped for hasn’t happened as yet, but rather have started acting believing what they hoped for would happen.

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” Jam 2:26.

Faith without actions to affirm it isn’t faith, it’s just hope. The level of one’s faith is known by the level of work(actions) one does to affirm one’s faith. “ You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” Jam 2:24. Your actions complete your faith. So, is your faith backed by actions?