The Walk of Faith
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 RSV
The Greek word used in this verse in Hebrews chapter 11 that is translated as “assurance” is the word “hupostasis” literally meaning “a setting under or support.” It comes from the combination of two other Greeks words, one meaning “under” (hupo), and the other one meaning “to stand” (stao). In other translations it is translated as “the substance” or “the realization” or “the confirmation” of things hoped for.
Similarly, the Greek word for “conviction” used here in this same verse is the word “elegehos” meaning “proof or conviction” from a root word that means “to confute or admonish.” Other translations use the words “evidence” or “confidence” or “certainty” of things not seen.
In the amplified version of the Bible, this note is added to this verse: “faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.”
In other words, there are things that we have been promised by God that will happen in the future, that we are hoping for now, and there are unseen spiritual realities, and by faith we make both of these a reality in our lives.
The idea of “walking by faith” refers to the way we live our daily lives in the light of the truths that we have realized and accepted as fact. This is in stark contrast to the people who are in the world who have no real faith in these truths but are only functioning within the reality of what they have confirmed by their senses. We as Christians have been convinced that the revelations in the Scriptures are true. We have come to believe and accept God’s promise that was made through Jesus Christ, His Messiah.
Herein is the battle: we are in a world that is without faith. The system that this world functions within is based totally upon physical truths that have been established by human senses combined with human intellectual logic. We as Christians need to function within a different system, a spiritually based system that is established by truths revealed by our Creator. On a daily basis, the world promotes its approach to living in its worldly system and influences the way we think and act. We must align our actions and thinking with the truths that we have established by faith, and fight against the influence or this worldly system.
I think it is important to recognize that faith is not fantasizing about the unknown, but it is the establishing of its reality. Let me attempt to illustrate this: we all know and agree that some day we will die. Some day our heart will stop beating and we will breathe our last breath. There is an exact moment in time in the future that this will happen. It could be today or (hopefully) many years from now, but regardless, there is a date and time when this will happen. This is a reality that we can establish as a fact in our mind. Now, we don’t need to fantasize about this time when we die. We don’t need to image where we will be and how it will all look or feel, or who will be there, or anything about the details to get a picture in our mind. Fantasizing or imagining is not important. What is important is that we establish the reality of the fact. Try this for yourself. Allow the reality of the fact that there will be a moment in the future that you will breathe your last breath enter deep into your being. This is the kind of faith we are talking about: making a future event a reality.
Similarly, we do not need to paint a picture about the Christians truths regarding our future hope or the unseen spiritual world. We don’t necessarily need to envision what heaven will be like, but just establish the fact that one day we will be in heaven and it will be a perfect place. We don’t need to know exactly what Jesus will look like, but we need to establish the reality of the fact that one day we will see Him face to face.
“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” 1 Cor. 13:12
We need to allow the spiritual truths that God has revealed to enter deep into our beings and become a reality, even to the level of our subconscious.
One of human being’s largest flaws is the inability of aligning our beliefs with our actions. We have terms that represent this condition such as “hypocrisy” or “doublethink” or “double-mindedness”. Our challenge as Christians is to overcome this flaw. The word “integrity” would apply to those who would firmly adhere to the truths that they believe in. We must establish the truths of God in our hearts and mind and then walk according to those truths until the end. This is the patient endurance of faith that the Scriptures are referring to.
There are a number of vital truths that we must focus on and establish in our minds that I want to mention here:
Truth: Jesus is coming back to earth to destroy this current world system and establish a new heaven and earth
Just like the reality of the date and time that we all will experience death and end our life on this earth, there will be a date and time that the foot of the Lord Jesus Christ will touch the earth on the Mount of Olives in Israel. There will be clouds of glory and the physical body of Jesus will be visible to all. The present earth will be destroyed with fire and a new heaven and new earth will be established with Jesus as the King of Kings.
“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly towards heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3: 11-13
We are also instructed by Jesus to wait eagerly and expectantly for His return:
“Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.” Luke 12: 35-37
Truth: We will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ and be judged, giving account of what we have done.
There will be a moment in time when the books will be opened and our name will be called. I don’t want to have any deep regrets at this time due to un-repented sin that I must answer for. Now is the time to deal with our sins and weaknesses so that that time will be amicable.
“….we make it our aim to please Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.” 2 Cor. 5:9-10
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” Rev. 20: 11-12
It is a reality right now, due to the mercy of God through Jesus, that my name is written in the Book of Life, Halleluiah! I am very serious about making sure that my name remains there and that all of the supporting information in the other books is positive.
Truth: We will have a new resurrected, immortal, eternal body, the same as the Lord Jesus’ body.
Just as real as the death of our current body, we will receive a new body that will house our inner spirit/soul and consciousness. At some moment in the future we will look down and see this new body that we will inhabit, and it will be amazing!
“…that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,…” Romans 6:4-5
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1 Cor. 15: 51-53
“For we who are in this tent (body) groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” 2 Cor. 5: 4-5
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thess. 4: 16-17
There are many important truths that we need to establish as reality in our minds. The ones mentioned above are what I see as the vital ones that have the greatest impact on our thoughts and actions and that need to be at the forefront of our daily thoughts as much as possible. I even think that we should awake every morning and say to ourselves, “Did the Lord come yet? I wonder if He will come today.”
Please continue to read His Scriptures and establish all of these truths as fact, and then align your life accordingly. Life is really rather short and before we know it, we will be experiencing the reality of these things that we are hoping for, and the unseen spiritual reality will become available to us. Praise God!