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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Solid Faith: Day 2

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

In this beautiful verse, we find the ultimate definition of faith. But it is not a definition that yields the full depth of its truth to a superficial reading. When we dive into the deep waters of the original language, there is hidden treasure waiting.

In the Greek, “assurance” is hupostasis. It is a scientific term referring to that which rests on the facts. Some of its synonyms: support, substance, steadiness. Interestingly, its opposite is hypothesis—an assumption or theory.

 “Conviction” is used in this passage as a sense of “a proof” or “a certain persuasion.”

 Finally, hope, as it is spoken of in Scripture, is always characterized by two qualities: it is something good and it is something we must wait for.

 When we put it all together we see that faith is something—though still future—that is good, substantive and factual, and of whose reality we are persuaded.

 This is true of all the things one hopes in, isn’t it? Money, happy relationships,  personal resources. Yet Scripture says true contentment, security and meaning can only be experienced when our faith is fully placed in God--who is invisible Spirit.  How can we have a factual conviction regarding God when no one has ever seen Him? (At least we can count our money and hug our loved ones!)

 All the questions we have about God have been answered in Jesus.

 No one has ever seen God the only begotten Son who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.”       John 1:18

Surprisingly, the author of Hebrews does not begin his instruction on the nature of father with Jesus. Exhibit A is something that was basic truth in the author’s day. Today it is the ground zero of a cultural controversy: Creation.

 Nancy Shirah

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