What is faith?

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 ESV) 

What is faith showing a magnifying glass and Hebrews 11:1 written on paper

Faith remains a mystery for many believers; it certainly was for me until the Lord opened my understanding to see how simple and practical faith really is. I hope this brief devotional helps you remove all the complex clothing that covers faith’s accurate and relevant meaning.

Hebrews 11:1 is the only verse in scripture that explicitly defines faith. It states that faith is a state of assurance and conviction of things we do not see: faith is being sure and convinced of things we do not see. I want you to notice the simplicity of this definition; faith is not some mysterious activity of your human spirit. It is the same assurance or conviction of things we use in our ordinary lives, except that the things of concern are the things of God.

Let me illustrate the simplicity of faith using a real-life example. As human beings, we live every day, decide, speak, or act based on what we are sure about. You willingly eat a piece of bread because you are sure it is safe and nutritious. If you think that piece of bread is poisonous, you will not dare put it in your mouth. This example shows how our ordinary choices in life are determined by the things we believe (conviction or assurance).

Faith is when we have this same assurance or conviction about the things of God. The things we are sure about naturally control how we behave. You do not have to try to act faith or seek to prove it. Your actions naturally prove what you truly believe, that is, what you are sure or convinced is true. Faith is that simple—It is the things of God that you are sure and confident about that naturally determine how you live daily.

Read more: Believers perplexed and confused about believing.

Watch Video Sermon: What is Faith?

What is faith, as defined above?

Apply the Word

Many of our struggles with faith will vanish if we understand the simple meaning of faith as the scripture describes. I encourage you to restudy the truths I have discussed above, double-check the biblical facts for yourself and deepen your understanding of this crucial subject in Christianity.

Ask the Father to open your eyes to see what faith truly is. 

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