Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, is how the writer of Hebrews 11 defines it. Some have tried to teach that faith is a currency through which we get stuff from God. But Hebrews hints that it is much more than a simple give and take.
Faith is a trust we place in someone else, a giving of ourselves to them, believing they have our best interest at heart. When we place our faith in God, there is a connection that takes place. It is our trust in him that brings him pleasure. “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” When we entrust our lives into his hands, God is pleased and his favor shines in our hearts. If I trust him, what I do for him comes out of my trust, not my trying to buy his pleasure by my works. It’s not what I do that brings him joy, but trusting him that makes him smile.
When I have faith in God, it’s more than just trying to prove to him how much I believe his words or promises, it is entrusting my life, my fears, my family, my worries, my past, present and future into his care. Then I begin to see something I’ve never seen before…the invisible. Those things I’ve hoped for, I find in God’s hands and he makes all things work together for good, because he has my best interest in mind. I see the things that those who are not trusting cannot see, for my faith becomes the evidence of his grace in my life.
Faith does not guarantee that I will get whatever I want in my life. Reading the letters of Paul and the early church will show us that. They had greater faith than we can imagine, yet suffered unimaginable hardships. Jesus himself did not get the cup to pass from him in the Garden as he prayed the night before his death, and he had perfect faith.
Instead, my faith, which is my trust in God, will anchor me to the One who holds my life and walks with me through my fears, trials, grief and pain. It will be what provides favor and blessings in life, not because I deserve it and do good enough to get his blessing, but rather because all he asks is that I trust him and live my every day from the trust that he will be with me through everything I face.
This is the fruit of faith…a deeper, real confidence in the One who gave his life for me and a relationship through which I can face life with a different perspective.