January 30: Difficult DefinitionsSeries: Devotional
January 30: Difficult Definitions
Genesis 47–48; Hebrews 11; Ecclesiastes 12:1–8
As a preacher, I love definitions. The field of words and their meaning can be complex, but when a definition is finally solidified, there’s a comfort to be found. It becomes something stable. This is also the reason I love the book of Hebrews: the author is keen on definitions, clarifying terminology, and using analogies to prove his points.
“Now faith is the realization of what is hoped for, the proof of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). In this succinct definition, I have a perspective on the essence of faith. There is no room for doubt or error. The hope referred to is Jesus. And the proof is in an assurance that even though we cannot see Him, we have confidence in His work both presently and in the future.
The author goes on to say, “For by this [faith] the people of old were approved [by God]. By faith, we understand the worlds were created by the word of God, in order that what is seen did not come into existence from what is visible.… By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out to a place that he was going to receive for an inheritance, and he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Heb 11:2–3, 8).
Abraham, whose story is an epitome of actions reflecting faith, shows us that belief is about hoping in God’s work in Christ. And in acting on that which He has promised but we are yet to see. That’s a definition we can all depend upon.
How does this definition of faith (or belief) change your perspective on living a life that is faithful to Christ?