Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Faith is something necessary for salvation, but I find that it is rarely understood. We talk about faith all the time. We have faith in politicians or in a doctor ready to operate on us. We have faith that the weather. But such is not Biblical faith. It is only a hope or wishful thinking. Faith is certain and it is life changing. The text gives the example of Abraham as a man of faith. Elsewhere such faith is counted as righteousness for Abraham (Gen. 15:6). So what is this faith?
Faith begins with faith in the person of God. Abram had to believe in the person and truthfulness of God when God called Abram to travel to Palestine. That faith grew as he came to believe in the promises of God given in Genesis 12. He believed that God would make a great nation of him. He believed that his children would own the land of Palestine. He believed that God would bless the whole world through him. Abraham did not see any of those things come to pass, but because he believed in the person of God, he believed in the promises. It allowed Abraham to go to the mountain and begin to sacrifice his son. He knew that God would make it all come out right. He was certain of something he could not see or understand.
So what does that have to do with us? It shows where we must begin with faith. We must come to know who God is. You have to believe in God’s person before you will believe in the promises of scripture. We have to be sure of what we hope for. That certainty comes from knowing God. That certainty will allow you to do the impossible. Many actions in ministry must be done without any guarantee of the outcome. We witness to friends not sure if they will be open to the message. We serve in a ministry wondering, at times, if things will turn out OK. There are times that all of us must just go forward in ministry trusting that God will not lead us astray. We are certain that God can make good things come out of even our disasters because we are certain of God. Faith trusts God even when we can’t see where things are going. That was true of Abraham and it can be true of us.