Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
What Is Faith?
A key verse in the study in Hebrews 11:1, ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Here God is telling is what faith is.
There are many kinds of faith. Everyone, saved and unsaved alike, has a natural, human faith. For example, people everywhere have faith that when they sit in a chair, it will support their weight. But the above scripture is not talking about natural, human faith. It is talking about scriptural faith – a faith that believes with the heart in spite of what physical senses or circumstances may say.
Yet in the church world there is considerable confusion concerning what real faith is. John Wesley once said that the devil has given the church a substitute for faith; one that looks and sound so much like faith that few people can tell the difference.
He called the substitute “mental assent.’’ Many people will agree that the Bible is true, but they are agreeing only with their minds. That is a mental assent and it is not what gets the job done. It takes heart faith to receive from God.
How Can a Person Know whether he has Heart Faith or whether he is Just Mentally Agreeing with God’s Word?
Mental assent says, “I know God’s word is true. I know God has provided healing (or some other blessing), but for some reason I can’t get it; I can’t understand it.” However, real faith says, “if God’s word says it’s true, then it’s true. It is mine, and I have it now. I have it now even though I can’t see it because God cannot lie.
How Do We Get Faith?
We read in Hebrews 11:6 KJV
But without faith it is impossible to please him : for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
God has told us that without faith, it is impossible to please him. If he demanded that we have faith when it was impossible for us to get faith, then we would have a right to challenge His justice. But he also told us how to get faith and has provided the way whereby everyone can have faith.
Real faith is built on and grows out of the Word of God. Roman 10:17 states, “so then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Real faith is the child of knowledge of God’s Word. You can’t trust in the Lord without trusting in His Word. God and His Word are one, just as you and your word are one. If your word is not good, you are not good. If God’s Word isn’t any good, he isn’t any good?
So to develop your faith, you must start by making the decision that God’s word is try and you will believe His Word above anything else. The Word of God is actually God speaking to you. It is God-breathed, God-inspired and God-indwelt in order for you to have strong faith, the word must be of for most importance to you – you must wrap yourself in it, and in its promises.
How can you do that? You must accept the Word for what it actually says and not for what you think it says. As you study the bible in this light, you will be amazed to learn that some of the things you’ve always believed to be scriptural are not in the Word of God at all.
I found this to be true in my own experience. As a teenager, I lay for many months on bed of sickness. While studying the bible, I began to see the truths of faith and healing which were new to me.
My church did not teach about healing. But the more I studied God’s Word, the more I saw that faith and healing were bible truths. And regardless of my church’s teaching, I determined I was going to walk in the light of God’s Word.
Once you’ve settled in your heart that you’re going to follow God’s Word rather than religious teaching or man-made traditions, you need to dig deeply into the Word and feed upon it until you have a deep, settled assurance of God’s will concerning your need. You must immerse yourself in the Word of God until it becomes a part of you.
How Can You Tell If The Word Is Really Part Of You?
The best indicator is when the Word becomes the first thing that comes to your mind and the first thing you consider in every situation or circumstance.
Proverbs 4:20,21 tells us how to develop this kind of stability in God’s Word.” My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.”
Many people fail because they allow the Word of God to depart from before their eyes. Instead of seeing themselves as God’s Word says they are, they keep looking at the wrong things – at the conditions, at the symptoms, at themselves- and so they walk in unbelief and destroy the effects of their faith. Or they listen to others around them instead of listening to God’s Word, and they allow the Word to depart out of their heart.
Let me illustrate what I mean. God’s Word says, “Himself (Jesus) took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses”(Matthew 8:17). If that word does not depart from before your eyes, you are bound to see yourself without sickness and without disease. You will start seeing yourself well instead of seeing yourself sick. If the Word doesn’t depart from before your eyes in any area for which you are believing God, then you will see yourself as the Word sees you – possessing all the benefits the word says are yours.
Immerse yourself in the Word. Get your mind on the answer. See yourself as having received. Constantly affirm in the face of contradictory circumstances, that God has heard your prayers because the Word says so. That’s when you will get results.
Real faith will say the same thing about one’s self as the Word says. You have what the Word says you have. You are what the Word says you are. If you want God’s to work for you, you will have to in agreement with him.