Hebrews 11:1-2 (NIV) – Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for.
Letʼs break this verse down for a moment. What is faith according to the Hebrew writer? Itʼs being sure! Thatʼs the NIV translation, but other translations render the word as “assurance” or “confidence.” The actual Greek word means “firm trust, steadfastness of mind, firm foundation!” Itʼs not a brief fleeting thought, itʼs not a doubt filled state of mind! Itʼs being sure!
Ok great…sure of what? Once again, according to the Hebrew writer, its being sure of what we hope for. So as a follower of Christ, what do we hope for? We hope for Godʼs promises to be fulfilled…or in other words, we hope for God to do what he says he will do. Now, the word hope here doesnʼt have the same meaning as we often think. Itʼs not a wish like hoping the Texas Rangers actually win the World Series this year…itʼs not that at all! Strongʼs Greek Definition of the word means “to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence…hopefully to trust in.” Hereʼs the mention of full confidence again! “Being sure of what we hope for” is having a full confidence that God will do what He says He will do! FULL CONFIDENCE!
And let us not forget the last part of verse 1, “certain of what we do not see.” The definition, again from Strongʼs Greek Definitions for the word “certain” is “a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested…a conviction.” So if I were to paraphrase this verse, using the definitions of the words in Hebrews 11:1-2, to summarize what weʼve just covered, then the definition of faith would be something like this:
“Now faith is being sure and having a firm trust and confidence of the salvation that we hope for, with joy and full confidence, and certain of the proof and conviction in what we do not see!”
Now that doesnʼt leave much room for doubt or being unsure, does it? And letʼs not forget verse 2! “This is what the ancients were commended for.”
So, how does your faith measure up?