Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
A. Spiritual exertion
B. Mustered up feeling
C. A choice to believe
D. A strongly held belief
E. None of the above
The answer is “None of the above.” Faith is not something you or I come up with. Faith is not what we bring to the party. Faith is the thing itself. Faith is self-evident. Faith is faith. You have faith because you have faith. If you didn’t have faith, you wouldn’t be able to believe. If you don’t have faith, don’t try to exert yourself, or tell yourself to believe. That’s because faith doesn’t come from you. If you don’t have faith, and you desire it, then you need to ask for it, because faith comes from God.
Hebrews 1:1 describes faith in solid terms. The words “substance” and “evidence” describe something solid. Faith is a thing. It is the substance of what you hoped for because you can’t see what you hope for but you can “see” faith. You can “see” faith because you can believe. And again, it’s the evidence of what you can’t see, because things you can’t see, like God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit and heaven, can be known by faith because you have faith. You know God is real because you have the faith to believe He is.
I know this sounds like a lot of double-speak, but that’s because faith, even though you can’t see it, is there, because you “see” it with your inner eye. You know it to be true. You have it because you have it.
Hebrews 11:6 says “he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” In other words, He who comes to God is in possession of what it takes to believe that He exists. He (she) is in possession of the God-given faith to believe it. So it comes down to faith — you either have it or you don’t.
So the conclusion of all this is: if you have faith, be grateful for it and use it. Find out what the Lord wants you to do. Be one of those “by faith” people. “By faith George or Sally did this or that.” If you have it, apply that faith to your life, and to serving those around you and fighting the spiritual battles in your midst. If you have it, apply it to praying for revival. Pray to receive more of Him. And if you don’t have faith, ask for it. “[God] is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” If you earnestly desire to know Him, He will never turn anyone away. He will give you the faith to believe He exists. And then you will have what you hoped for, and what you can’t see will become real to you because you will have, in your faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.