Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)
(1) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
(1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Do you have the “now” kind of faith that is spoken of in this verse? The word “now” is important.
Technically speaking, the word “now” is used as a transitional word. It is the changing from one subject to another subject within the text. This verse is a description of what faith does and how it works. True biblical faith is not blind optimism. It is not manufactured “hope-so” feeling. It is not intellectual assent to a doctrine. It is not believing in spite of evidence. That is called superstition.
Biblical faith is confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of circumstances and consequences.
This kind of faith operates very simply. When God speaks, we hear His word. We trust what is written in the Word of God. When God speaks, we hear His Word. Then we act upon it. No matter what the situation looks like, we move in faith. It is like when the ladies’ prayer group got together this past Thursday, I stood in for my oldest son. The pastor’s wife said she saw my son driving the truck. That meant that he would get the job. We prayed. We believed by faith, and God gave us a vision of the outcome of our prayer.
The secular world does not understand true biblical faith. This is because they do not possess this kind of truth. They do not always see biblical faith in action unless they know a believer. There was a cynical editor named H. L. Mencken. He defined faith as “illogical belief in the occurrence of the impossible.” [Bible Exposition Commentary (Be Series) – New Testament, Volume 2 – Be Confident (Hebrews) Hebrews – Chapter Ten, p. 312]. Faith is as strong as it object is. It is not a manufactured feeling. It is our response to what God has revealed to us in His Word and through prayer.