“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
For many, this is an iconic scripture that headlines a list of great spiritual deeds meant to inspire you to add to the list with your own accomplishments. But I’ve learned over the years these acts of faith aren’t nearly as much about what was achieved as they are the testimonies of those who trusted in who God was for them. They accomplished great things not because they were sure of what would happen, but because they were sure of him.
When it says faith is the substance of things hoped for, it doesn’t mean much until he’s the source of your hope. Otherwise, you’re just pursuing what you want, and hoping God will be good enough to you to make it work. When he’s your source of hope, faith is the natural result. He becomes the evidence of your confident expectation of experiencing his goodness.
With your phone, laptop, or old school pen and paper, ask Jesus to help you remember all the words of life he’s given to you over the years. Recall all you have to be grateful for. Remember what he’s done, and who he’s been for you your whole life. Write it all down, and you’ll remember even more. Let it fill you with the truth that you’re never alone. Allow yourself to experience his presence deeper than you ever have before.
You do know God’s goodness, even if you’ve forgotten. You know his smile. You know his voice. In whatever situations you’re facing, let your heart, your hope, your trust, and your faith rest in who he’s saying he wants to be for you right now. Have confidence in his nature and character, in what he’s demonstrated to you, in what you’ve read in his word, and in all the encouragement you’ve received from him through others.
You may never fully understand some of the circumstances you’ve journeyed through, but you can know he’s been faithful to completely love you the entire way. Trust in his faithfulness toward you, and you’ll have all the faith you need to be and do all he’s saying is possible.
“Inspired by the faithfulness of God to those who have gone before us, it’s become clear we need to surrender every fear, offense, and ungodly burden, and lay down every sin we’ve used to hold onto them.
As we do, we’ll find all the endurance we need for life’s marathon, because we’ll be able to recognize Jesus, the author and completer of our faith, running with us the entire way” (Hebrews 12:1-2, paraphrase).