Faith is . . . the conviction of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1
by John MacArthur, Drawing Near: Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith
Key Principle: True faith goes beyond assurance to action.
When the writer said, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” he used two parallel and almost identical phrases to define faith.
We’ve seen that faith is the assurance that all God’s promises will come to pass in His time. “The conviction of things not seen” takes the same truth a step further by implying a response to what we believe and are assured of.
James addressed the issue this way: “Someone may well say, ‘You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’ . . . But are you willing to recognize . . . that faith without works is useless? . . . For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:18, 20, 26). In other words, a non-responsive faith is no faith at all.
Noah had a responsive faith. He had never seen rain because rain didn’t exist prior to the Flood. Perhaps he knew nothing about building a ship. Still, he followed God’s instructions and endured 120 years of hard work and ridicule because he believed God was telling the truth. His work was a testimony to that belief.
Moses considered “the reproach of Christ [Messiah] greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward” (Heb. 11:26). Messiah wouldn’t come to earth for another 1,400 years, but Moses forsook the wealth and benefits of Egypt in order to pursue the messianic hope.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, when faced with a life-threatening choice, chose to act on their faith in God, whom they couldn’t see, rather than bow to Nebuchadnezzar, whom they could see all too well (Dan. 3). Even if it meant physical death, they wouldn’t compromise their beliefs.
I pray that the choices you make today will show that you are a person of strong faith and convictions.
Suggestions for Prayer: Ask God to increase and strengthen your faith through the events of this day. Look for specific opportunities to trust Him more fully.
For Further Study: Read Daniel 3:1-30. How was the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego tested?