Lately I’ve struggled with finding a balanced approach to faith. Do I approach it practically, considering in a business-like manner what it looks like to have faith in the situations in which I commonly find myself at work and among peers? I’m not the problem-solving sort of person. I’m not analytical in that way. And it seems that faith doesn’t fit in a box. It isn’t algebra, where a jumble of variables comes out to one specific answer. But having a very abstract view of faith makes it easier to make the mistake of separating it from the day-to-day, justifying a lack of faith, because what does such an abstract concept have to do with the issues I face at work or school? The author of Hebrews wrote quite a lot on faith in chapter 11. He starts out by saying “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”. How? In what way is faith the means of such assurance? The Greek for the word ‘assurance’ in the verse above is hypostasis. Faith is the hypostasis of things hoped for. Leon Morris, in his Bible commentary, says this:
“His meaning is that there are realities for which we have no material evidence, though they are not the less real for that. Faith enables us to know that they exist, and while we have no certainty apart from faith, faith does give us genuine certainty. Faith is the basis, the substructure (hypostasis means lit. “that which stands under”) of all that the Christian life means, all that the Christian hopes for.”
It seems to me that he’s saying faith is the floor, the base of “things hoped for”. Without it, those hopes fall right through. “For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness” Galatians 5:5.
So no longer will I try to be a mathematician, plugging in variables and trying to work out a set solution. No longer will I try to fit faith to my circumstances. No, this assurance, it is a foundation, solid and supportive. And in the next chapter, the author says that Jesus is the “founder and perfecter of our faith”; other versions use ‘author’ in 12:2 in place of ‘founder’. In Hebrews 1:3, he said of Jesus, “he upholds the universe by the word of his power”. Colossians 1:17 reiterates that “in him all things hold together”. Even faith is held up and sustained by Christ. It finds its origin in Him; Jesus is the source of our foundation of faith. What a solid foundation it must be!
Stand firm in your faith!