Believing and Hope

Hebrews 11:1
    Now faith [believing] is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith    - is from the Greek word pistis and it means to believe.

Believing can be defined as having confidence and trust in knowledge received to the end that you act upon it.  By this definition believing is dependent upon knowledge or information.  If you have been given knowledge of what a certain stock is going to do in the stock market and you have confidence and trust in the source of that knowledge to the end that you buy the stock you could say that you believed the person who told you about the stock.  If, on the other hand you did not have confidence and trust in the person who told you about the stock and therefore do not buy the stock you did not believe him as evidenced by the fact that you took no action upon the knowledge given you.

In Hebrews Chapter 11 a "hall of fame" of believers is cited.  Men and women who, although they could not see God, believed Him by acting upon knowledge or information given them from God.

Things hoped for    - Hope is the anticipation of something to come in the future.

Hope is the goal.  Hope is that "finish line" we focus on when we do the tasks we have to do to get there.  In Hebrews Chapter 11 believers acted upon information they had received from God in anticipation of something to come in the future.  While they did not attain the promised hope during their lifetime, they acted on the Word of God believing that God was faithful to His Word.

Now believing is the substance of things hoped for, . . .

Substance is the Greek word hupostasis which means foundation or confidence upon which something rests.

Believing is the foundation or concrete action upon which our hope rests.  We anticipate that which is still future and move in that direction with concrete action upon the knowledge that we have of God and His word.

the evidence of things not seen.

Believing is the evidence or proof of that which we have not yet seen.  We have not seen God who supplies the information upon which we act.  We have not yet obtained the goal of Christ's return or received our new spiritual body [Philippians 3:21].  Those believers who have died have not yet attained the resurrection of the dead.  Yet our action upon God's Word is the proof, the evidence, the foundation that demonstrates to the world that God is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.  Our believing action on the knowledge of God is evidence that Christ is going to return and we will be gathered together to meet him in the air.  It is the proof that we are moving toward the goal.

Galatians 5:5 - For we through the Spirit wait [receive] for the hope of righteousness by faith [believing].

We received the hope of righteousness by believing God's Word.  When we believed what God said in Romans 10:9-10 and acted upon God's promise we received holy spirit and that hope of righteousness that so many others worked toward in the Old Testament but were unable to attain.

Romans 5:2 - By whom also we have access by faith [believing] into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

We attained access to the grace of God through the believing action of His son, Jesus Christ,  and we believe God's Word by acting upon it as we look forward to the glory of God that He has promised us in the future at the return of Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:23 - . . . continue in the faith [in believing] grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel . . .

Our believing action upon God's Word is the foundation, the evidence, the proof, upon which we are grounded and settled as we focus on the goal of the hope we anticipate.

I Thessalonians 1:3 - Remembering without ceasing your work of faith [believing], and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ , in the sight of God and our Father;

Believing is work.  Acting upon the Word of God out of love is hard work.  It is the substance, the foundation, the concrete action of our walk that we do as we patiently look toward the hope of Christ's return.

I Thessalonians 5:8 - But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith [believing] and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Believing and love are the actions that protect our heart.  Hope is the helmet that protects our head.  We work from the heart and keep our head focused on the goal.

Hebrews 10:22-23 - Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith [believing], . . . Let us hold fast the profession of our faith [hope] without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Hebrews 10:24-25 - And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Proverbs 25:25
November, 1997
Michael Cortright