“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1 AV). Most believers know this particular verse of Scripture quite well. The question is do we walk in it and embrace the correlating principles that give it efficacy. The Common English Bible crystallizes in a more vivid fashion the thought intended to be conveyed by the writer of Hebrews by translating this verse from Greek to English in the following fashion: “Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.” (Heb. 11:1 CEB). How powerful this concept is in that it gives true believers, i.e., practitioners of faith, the ability to impose their hope as a new and different reality on a present reality. The New Interpreter’s Bible suggests that this is a “reality that does not owe its existence to human awareness.” Therefore, the proof is not based on what the eyes may or may not see; but instead, as the World Biblical Commentary indicates, faith gives hope “the force of present realities and enables the person of faith to enjoy the full certainty of future realization.”
How encouraging it is to know that a child of God who projects faith can live and walk amid uncertain times with certainty. Crises should neither squelch nor define hope. But rather, one’s hope should always be greater than the crisis. Just as certain as we are of the reality of a present struggle or trial, we should be even more so convinced that the God we serve will send help in one way or the other. Faith in times of crises does not mean that we are oblivious to all the negativity that seemingly lurks about us on a daily basis, but it does mean that in spite of it all, we remain unmoved. May the hope of our faith inspire us to more fully embrace the charge of the great apostle Paul when he challenged the Corinthian church to hold on to hope with these words: “As a result of all this, my loved brothers and sisters, you must stand firm, unshakable, excelling in the work of the Lord as always, because you know that your labor isn’t going to be for nothing in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58 CEB).
Yours in His Service,
Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr.