The First 15

Thursday July 16, 2020

by Julian Hobdy

Now... Faith


Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.


“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
— Corrie ten Boom

This past week, I’ve had two friends for whom I care for deeply affected by tremendous loss. These losses came suddenly, and they have been like thieves in the night lurking and pouncing on their joy. It occurs to me that, for many of us in varied ways, this is our present reality. When will we ever return to worship? How will we walk into this new school year? Where will my next check come from? Will I get this job I’ve longed for, prayed for, and for which I’ve interviewed and now await a response? It occurs to me that a primary question we all may be asking in some form or another is, “What comes next?” How do I live today in light of an uncertain tomorrow?

This past weekend, I had a conversation with my younger brother about this very point. As we shared reflections on faith and hope, I thought about the well-known passage in Hebrews listed above. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. What does that mean? I can remember hearing that as a child, fascinated by its prose but perplexed by its meaning. The word “substance” comes from a Greek compound word–hupo, which means by, or under, and stasis, which means to stand. The two words literally translate to “stand under.” Faith is, quite literally, hope—it’s the thing that holds faith up. That Greek word is translated as hypostasis, which means being, essence, or reality.

Consider that for a moment. If our hope was a human body, faith would be its mind, soul, or spirit. Faith animates our hope. Faith is what gives our hope life and being. Faith sets our hope into motion, and apart from faith, our hope has no chance of survival. It would merely be a lifeless shell. To that end, our faith is only as strong as its object. This is why our hope must be ultimately found in Christ. It can’t be found in ourselves, our own abilities, or the perceived stability we ascribe to this finite reality we call life. This might be why the hymnist wrote, “On Christ the solid rock I’ll stand. All other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.”

So, let me offer you this bit of encouragement today. First, let me acknowledge a simple truth. Faith is hard. In faith, we trust an unseeable God against what we can see. We devote ourselves to this God, and we relinquish control of our lives to do this life in partnership with God. That’s not always an easy task. Secondly, you know as well as I, there is just simply nothing greater than a life well-lived in communion with God. We are made for it. Our lives cry out for this relationship, and we need God like we need the air to breathe. There is just none greater.

In his 2011 Stellar Award-winning song, entitled “Nobody Greater,” Vashawn Mitchell writes, “I searched all over. Couldn’t find nobody. I looked high and low; still couldn’t find nobody. Nobody greater. Nobody greater. Nobody greater than you.”

Lastly, and most importantly, now is the time for hope–maybe now more than ever. But the hope we need is built upon a foundation of faith, and that faith is grounded in Christ. When you find yourselves desperate to find your footing in a world that feels like a free-fall, grab ahold of Christ. Let your rugged, unrelenting, white-knuckled trust in Christ give you the strength you need to find hope. Today, now, choose faith.

Reflection Questions

  1. Is there an area in your life where you find yourself feeling hopeless?
  2. What is the root of that hopelessness?
  3. How can you begin to surrender that to Christ?

Prayer for Today

You are my strength
Strength like no other
Strength like no other
Reaches to me

You are my hope
Hope like no other
Hope like no other
Reaches to me

In the fullness of your grace
In the power of your name
You lift me up
You lift me up

Writer: Reuben Morgan
CCLI #: 4869940
Scripture Reference(s): Psalm 30:1, Psalm 28:7

The First 15

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