“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, AMP).
Does my faith give me assurance for the things that I hope for? Does it offer proof for the things that I don't see? Faith asks me to perceive with my spiritual mind and heart what the human mind can't perceive. According to the Amplified Version, it gives me a confirmation to things that are only hoped for. It gives me a title deed to some things that I can't touch right now. That is an amazing conception. Title deed to some things that are to be.... not that are. Faith gives me conviction to their reality. My faith... my hope... my promises.... are tangible to me. I believe in them because they are real even though I can't see, hear, touch, smell, or taste them. Faith to believe has come through years of allowing God to stretch me almost beyond bearing at times. Life has forced me to believe in that which seems impossible. His faithfulness has become real because the trials of life have made it stronger. If He is faithful to me, I must honor Him with greater faith.
A friend shared something with me this week. She had been studying this verse, and the last phrase in the Amplfied Version struck her. It defines reality as “faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to my senses.” The two words “faith perceiving” started a spiritual journey of discovery. “If your mother always cooked fried chicken on Sundays,” she said, “you would have faith to know before you ever walked in and smelled it frying, that it was in the pan. That faith is brought about by the events of the past...she always cooked chicken. So it is important for us to look at the past and remember the things He has done for us, provided for us, brought us though. This is a faith building exercise.”
Believing God requires allowing God to build our faith. God stretches us to believe in His promises. He stretches us to believe in what we can't see with our eyes or touch with our fingers. He gives us faith to believe in a promise that we do not hear spoken. He takes us out of our comfort zone to force us to believe for something greater. We receive His eyes, His ears, and His spiritual understanding (Matthew 13:16-17) when we determine to grow in faith in order to believe in His unchanging faithfulness. In His Word He gives us His precious promises. To believe in these promises He offers the greatest faith building exercise for life. “ For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8, NIV). If we add these virtues in our lives, we will grow in our faith to believe in His promises.... no matter what appears in the natural realm. We will never be found lacking in our faith in Christ. Believing by faith in what I can't see will be like knowing that there is chicken to eat because it is Sunday.