Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
By Gary Wilkerson
Even for the most devoted followers of Jesus, it is impossible to fix certain things. But we do know the One who can. The wonderful thing about life in Christ is that we get to engage in amazing things we couldn’t do on our own. In fact, Jesus calls us to participate with him in accomplishing what we cannot do ourselves: to see lost loved ones come to faith, to see broken marriages restored and healed, to see unsaved people in our community rescued from a hopeless eternity. Through our faith in Jesus, we get to see — and even take part in — such things as they are accomplished by his power, majesty and authority.
Hebrews 11 is the chapter known as the “Hall of Faith,” listing biblical figures who pleased God through great acts of faith. From Abraham to Sarah to David to Samuel to Gideon and a host of others, we see believers commended not for their talents or achievements but for trusting God to do what was beyond their abilities.
The problem for many is that they look to their circumstances more than to the God who controls all circumstances. I can assure you, what God has promised can never be thwarted. Every word he sends forth will ultimately be accomplished. Satan knows this, and all he can do is try to slow down God’s purposes by convincing us to wallow in our difficulties. If your situation seems hopeless, the life of faith calls you to believe, “One day God will fulfill what I’m unable to envision now.”
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen” (11:1). As God purifies our faith, our confidence builds. We grow in discernment, saying, “Ah, yes, this is the word of the Lord, and that other word is not. He is confirming his promise to me — through Scripture, prayer and the witness of my brothers and sisters.” Faith begins to settle the matter within us, so that as Hebrews 11:1 says, we have “confidence that what we hope for will actually happen.”
This kind of faith was perfected in those listed in the Hall of Faith. According to that chapter, God commended Abel not for his worthy sacrifice of worship but for his faith. Noah wasn’t commended for being a preacher of righteousness but for his faith. Moses wasn’t commended for being a bold deliverer but for his faith.
Put very simply, what pleases God is faith. Why? It is because nothing can be accomplished for his kingdom except through faith.