What is faith? According to Hebrews 11:1, the definition of faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The phrase “the evidence of things not seen” is an interesting one. Evidence that is not seen sounds impossible, yet, faith pushes us on to believe what is impossible.
Faith Based on What is Not Seen
In Hebrews 11, many people from the Bible are used as examples of great faith. They believed the impossible although no physical signs were available to back up what they believed. Many of the people mentioned in the famous faith chapter were persecuted for their faith. They believed in a God they could not see with their eyes nor touch with their hands. They believed what He told them.
God requires us as modern-day believers to walk by faith just as the patriarchs, prophets, and others did thousands of years ago. Habakkuk 2:4 reminds us that the just will live by faith, and this is quoted in Hebrews 10:38, just before the beginning of the faith chapter. We are not to be moved by what we see and feel around us. We are to be moved by faith in God.
Does Faith Ever Doubt?
The people mentioned in Hebrews 11 were not perfect. They were human beings just like you and me. There were moments of doubt. Abraham and Sarah were an elderly couple who were past the age of having children. To doubt that they could have a child would seem logical. Sarah even laughed when she overheard an angel speaking to Abraham concerning the promised child.
What about Noah? He was building an ark and telling people that rain was coming in a world that had never seen rain. People found Noah amusing, yet, Noah continued, by faith, to do what he knew God had said.
There is a great deal of other people mentioned in the faith chapter. Some were tortured, imprisoned, or persecuted in some other manner because they believed what God said over what they saw, or what other people told them. Although they were people of great faith, they were still human. Doubt came. What made their faith great? They did not entertain doubt when it came to visit.
What About Your Faith?
Do you find it challenging to live by faith? Does it make you nervous when God requires you to step out on what you do not see with your eyes, but only what He has spoken to you in your spirit? Do you ever experience doubt then condemn yourself for it?
You are human. You can pick up and walk by faith even after having tremendous doubt. Peter, one of the disciples of Jesus, did. He denied Christ three times, yet, after the resurrection and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, he was able to preach the gospel and die for his faith.
When your faith is weak, confess it to God. In Mark 9:24, a man was very honest with Jesus. The man told Jesus that he believed, but he then asked Jesus to help his unbelief. What a strange request! However, it applies to you and me. When doubt comes in, ask God to help you with your unbelief.
Another way to strengthen your faith is through the Word of God. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Bible reading and Bible study is a great way to combat doubt.
Life happens to us all. There are devastating circumstances that test our faith. Disappointments come and go. Yet, we are still required to live by faith. Like any other biblical characteristic, faith must be built and cultivated. We all have some degree of faith, or it would not be possible to be saved. It is just necessary to keep building that faith because it does get weak from time to time.
What about you? Are you able to live by faith? Does doubt try to overwhelm you? You can overcome that doubt by building yourself up in the faith through study of the Word.