The Assurance of Things Hoped For
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
Early in our marriage, we only owned one car. My spouse rode to work with a friend. Her friend was glad to get the money my wife gave her each week. The cash helped with the price of gasoline.
After I finished graduate school, we moved halfway across America to a new job. We only owned one car. My work required me to use it to visit the many hospitals in the greater metro area. My wife decided she would stay home with our two preschool age sons.
Not having a second car left my wife stranded at home with the young children. She could only go shopping in the evenings. She couldn’t do routine life maintenance activities like doctor’s appointments or attending an exercise class with either juggling our schedules and car usage or getting help from a friend.
One day, I suggested we consider getting a second car. Yes, the increased cost of insurance, fuel and maintenance, not to mention the purchase price, would be expensive.
“We need to pray about purchasing get the car. God’s leadership can tell us if we should go in debt for a new car or try to see what we could afford with our small savings,” I said.
She agreed. So we prayed and waited.
The very next Sunday at church, a HAM radio friend of mine (we were both FCC licensed amateur radio operators) approached me. He was a deacon in our church, a bachelor, and twenty years older than me.
“Jim,” he said. “I’ve ordered a new car. The dealer said it’ll take forty-five to sixty days before it arrives.”
“Great,” I replied. I hadn’t connected the dots of our prayer for a car and this conversation.
“I was wondering if you’d like my old car. It’s low mileage, doesn’t have much wear with me not being married. Besides, I’ve seen your wife buying groceries in the evening when I do my shopping.”
I listened intently.
His next words were, “God, impressed on me to offer you my old car. I don’t need two.”
He continued, “The dealer offered little for it as a trade in as it’s ten years old. The mileage is low. It has new tires, and I had the oil changed. I thought maybe you’d like a second car. You can give me ten dollars a Sunday for the next two years. I’ll even pay for the title transfer to help.”
“I need to check with my wife,” I said.
“Let me know,” he replied.
“Thank you,” I added.
My wife agreed.
God was meeting our needs. God provided us with a second car.
Who wrote Hebrews 11:1 and when was it written?
The author of the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament of the Bible is unknown. Many scholars attribute the book to the apostle Paul because of an internal reference to “our brother Timothy” in Hebrews 13:23. Some scholars have disputed this attribution since the second century and there is no decisive evidence for the authorship.
The exact date of the Book of Hebrews is unknown. The last half of the first century is the date most scholars assign to its writing.
What is the context of Hebrews 11:1?
The context of Hebrews 11:1 is the broader theme of faith. This theme runs throughout the Book of Hebrews.
The author of Hebrews is writing to a group of Jewish Christians who are facing persecution and considering abandoning their faith in Jesus Christ. He is encouraging them to hold fast to their faith and to trust in Jesus. A reminder that Jesus is the ultimate high priest and mediator between God and humanity runs throughout the Book of Hebrews.
In chapter 11, the author provides examples of men and women from the Old Testament who showed great faith in God. These examples include Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Rahab. The author highlights how each of these individuals showed their faith in God by acting in obedience to Him, even when it was difficult or unpopular.
What does Hebrews 11:1 mean?
The verse itself emphasizes that faith is not just a feeling or a hope, but a conviction of things that are not seen. It is a trust in the promises of God, even when we cannot see them with our physical eyes. Faith gives us assurance that the things we hope for will come to pass, even if we do not see them in the present moment.
What does “faith” mean?
Faith in biblical terms refers to a firm belief or trust in God, His promises, and His word as revealed in the Bible.
It involves a confident assurance in God’s character and a reliance on His power and grace. We often describe faith as the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1), showing that it involves a confident trust in things that are not understood or experienced in the present.
In the Bible, we often link faith to obedience and action, as manifested in one’s trust in God.
“Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”James 2:17
This means that faith manifests itself by actions that show one’s trust in God and willingness to obey His commands.
Faith in biblical terms is a foundational concept. It underlies the Christian worldview. Faith informs the way believers understand and approach their relationship with God.
What does “the substance of things hoped for,” mean?
“The substance of things hoped for” refers to the assurance or confidence that believers have in the promises of God, even though they have not yet seen their fulfillment.
It is the substance or foundation of their hope, which gives them confidence and motivates them to persevere in their faith.
What does “the evidence of things not seen,” mean?
Faith is the conviction or belief in something that is not apparent or observable. It involves trusting in the existence or reality of something that is unproven or not seen with the naked eye. Faith is the assurance or confidence in the truth of something, even if not visible.
Hebrews 11:1 means that faith is the proof of things that are not visible or tangible. It is the confident trust in the promises of God, even though we cannot see Him or understand how or if those promises will happen. Faith is the foundation of our hope in God, and it gives us the strength to endure trials and challenges regardless of potential reward.
What is the difference in biblical translations of Hebrews 11:1 (KJV, NIV & ESV)
- Hebrews 11:1 KJV biblical translation says:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”Hebrews 11:1 KJV
- Hebrews 11:1 NIV biblical translation says:
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”Hebrews 11:1 NIV
- Hebrews 11:1 ESV biblical translation says:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1 ESV
How does Hebrews 11:1 give encouragement?
This verse gives encouragement by reminding us we can have faith in things that we cannot see or understand.
Here are a few ways that Hebrews 11:1 can give encouragement:
- It encourages us to have faith in God. The verse reminds us that even though we cannot see God, we can have confidence in Him and His promises. This can be a significant source of comfort and strength, especially during difficult times.
- It encourages us to have hope. The verse speaks of our “hope for” things, which suggests that we can have confidence that good things are possible in the future. This can be a powerful source of encouragement when we are feeling hopeless or discouraged.
- It encourages us to trust in the unseen. The verse speaks of “assurance about what we do not see,” which suggests that we can trust in things that are not apparent to us. This can encourage when we are struggling to understand what is happening in our lives or in the world.
How can I apply Hebrews 11:1 to my life?
This verse speaks to the power of faith, which can apply to our daily lives in various ways. Here are some ways to apply this verse:
- Believe in your dreams: If you have a dream or goal that seems impossible or unrealistic, have faith that your dream are possible. Faith in yourself and your abilities can help you overcome obstacles and achieve what you set out to do.
- Trust in God: Hebrews 11:1 also speaks to having faith in God, even when we can’t see the result. Trusting in God’s plan for your life and having faith that He will guide you in the right direction can give you peace and help you navigate difficult situations.
- Overcome fear and doubt: Fear and doubt can hold us back from reaching our full potential. Having faith can help us overcome these negative emotions and take risks that lead to personal growth and success.
- Focus on the positive: Hebrews 11:1 speaks to the assurance of things hoped for. By focusing on the positive and having faith that good things will come, we can cultivate a positive outlook and attract positive experiences into our lives.
Applying Hebrews 11:1 to your life involves having faith in yourself, trusting in God, overcoming fear and doubt, and focusing on the positive.
A model or example prayer using Hebrews 11:1
I come to you in faith, believing that you exist and that you reward those who seek you. Help me hold on to this unwavering faith, even when things are difficult and uncertain. May my faith be foundational to my life, giving me the courage and strength to overcome any obstacle that comes my way. Help me trust in your plan for my life, even when I can’t see the way ahead. Thank you for the assurance that faith provides and the hope that it brings.
In Jesus’ name,
This prayer acknowledges the truth of Hebrews 11:1, which says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It asks God to help the person praying to have this kind of faith, even in challenging times. The prayer also expresses gratitude for the hope and assurance that faith provides.
Now, we understand it is impossible to please God without faith, because faith plays an important role in the life of a believer. Things around you will change if you have faith in God.
Commitment to works also in the realm of the invisible and of the impossible because there will be no glory for God if it is possible. Human possibilities end where faith begins. Testing of faith in God occurs in times of trials and calamities to see if the faith we claim we have is authentic. Have faith in God and trust in His words. He is not a liar.
Today’s article is from the forthcoming book: “Hope: How to Have Hope During Times of Hardship | The Bible Speaks to Life Issues, Book Three” by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D. from Poetry and Prayer Press (c) 2023
Books by Jimmie Aaron Kepler are available online at SEE JIMMIE’s BOOKS
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