Faith is not a mystical, ethereal thing. When you face a challenge people often say, “Just have faith”, but to me that is an incomplete sentence. Faith needs to have a focus; faith needs to have an object. True faith is centred on the character of God and the Word of God. One should rather say, “Have faith in God” or “Have faith in the promises of God.” This is indeed what Jesus said when his disciples marvelled at the fig tree He had cursed:
Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. —Mark 11:22
There is a key verse in the Bible which we could say defines faith:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. —Hebrews 11:1 NKJV
The Greek word translated “substance” here is “hupostasis.” “Hupo” means under, and “stasis”, to stand. So, faith is literally “that which stands under”. It is a substance, something solid, like the foundation of a building which stands under and supports the superstructure. If we have faith, we will stand like a house built on a rock and not be shaken.
Faith is also “the evidence of things not seen” – faith relates to the invisible realm. We exercise faith when the answer to our prayers is not yet seen. When it does materialise or become seen, faith has done its work and is no longer really needed. As believers, “We live by faith, not by sight…” (2 Corinthians 5:7). We should not merely operate by our five natural senses but should see through the eye of faith and sense things in the spiritual realm even before they manifest in the physical realm.
Hope is also mentioned; it seems to precede faith. I like to refer to hope as the raw material and to faith as the catalyst which goes to work on that raw material, hope, in order to turn what we believe for into a reality.
We need to have a hope, a dream or a vision otherwise there is no feedstock for our faith. Then our faith needs to go to work on that hope in order to materialise it. Faith will turn your hopes into realities; the invisible into the visible; the ethereal into the material.
This is an excerpt from the book “Going Against Goliath” (How to fight cancer and win) by Philip Robson.
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