“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Hebrews 11: 1-3.
O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
Faith. Hope. Trust. Aren’t they the same things? Not really. I have been reading some different sources in order to learn more about these concepts, their similarities as well as their differences. (One very good online discussion is found at: Bible Hermeneutics.) I don’t have any background in Greek, but I do know how to look at and assess word construction and usage, so I try to get as close to the source as possible when trying to obtain a better understanding of certain terms and concepts. Praise the Lord that our pastor is quite conversant with Greek, and able to really dig into word meanings!
What I can see in the discussions and sources I have read is that FAITH is ‘substance.’ The Greek for this is ‘hypostasis,’ and is alternatively translated as ‘foundation.’ Also, faith or ‘pistis’ (πίστις) carries with it a belief that something has ALREADY HAPPENED in the spiritual realm. Hope is a future happening – ‘God will see that we have enough.. food, money, etc.’ ‘God HAS provided’ is a statement of faith, even if present circumstances say you are sick or broken, rich or poor. But on what do you base that faith, that foundation? In what can you trust that is so firm that it cannot be forsaken? Since trust is based on our experience of reliability. How much can I trust that that person’s words/promises will be fulfilled? If we look at God, we find that he is faithful, he keeps his promises, he does what he says. (See Psalm 89:8, 98:3, Hosea 11:12, and many more.)
But the best definition of faith was just given to me by a man I met at a funeral. He said, “I can tell you what faith is. Forsaking All Others, I Will Trust Him.” So, my prayer for myself and for you, gentle readers, is that we may come to that place where our faith, MY faith, is that secure, that simple, that real.