Beyond Sight: The Substance of Faith

Stand Firm: Courageous Faith  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  28:20
0 ratings
· 6 views
Files
Notes
Transcript
Let’s begin with a word of prayer.
Heavenly Father,
We come before You today with hearts full of gratitude and anticipation. We thank You for this opportunity to gather together as a community of believers to worship You and to delve into Your Word.
As we begin this time of study and reflection, we ask for Your presence to be with us. Open our hearts and minds to receive Your truth and wisdom. Help us to grasp the depth of Your love for us and the power of faith that sustains us in every season of life.
Lord, we acknowledge our need for You. We confess our doubts, fears, and uncertainties, knowing that You are the One who can bring clarity, peace, and hope. Strengthen us with Your Spirit as we seek to understand Your Word and apply it to our lives.
May this time together be fruitful, Lord. May Your Word take root in our hearts and bear abundant fruit for Your kingdom.
We surrender this time into Your hands, trusting that You will speak to us and lead us in the way we should go.
In Jesus' name we pray,
Amen.
Good afternoon,
It's great to be here with you all today. We're starting something new and exciting—a series diving into the heart of faith. You ever have those moments when you're not quite sure where you stand? That's what we're tackling head-on.
Life throws us curveballs, and sometimes it's hard to keep our heads above water. But that's where faith comes in. It's that anchor, that solid ground when everything else feels shaky.
So, let's take a moment to pause, reflect, and dig into what faith really means. Why it matters, how it shapes our lives, and why it's worth holding onto—even when doubts creep in.
You know, folks, life's journey often leads us down some pretty winding roads, doesn't it? And along the way, we encounter moments that make us stop and wonder. Moments where our faith feels like it's hanging by a thread.
It's okay to admit that. We're all in the same boat here. But here's the thing: even in the midst of those doubts and struggles, our faith isn't some distant, abstract concept. It's real. It's tangible. It's the bedrock that keeps us steady when everything else feels shaky.
Understanding that—that's a game-changer. It's like finally finding solid ground in the midst of a storm. And that's why what we're talking about today is so important.
So, let's take a moment to acknowledge those struggles, those doubts, and then let's dive into why faith matters. Why it's not just some wishful thinking, but a firm conviction that changes the way we live, the way we love, and the way we face each day.

Understanding Faith

When we talk about faith, we're not just tossing around a buzzword. No, we're talking about something deep and meaningful. In the original Greek, the word for "faith" is "πίστις" (pistis). And here's the kicker: it's not just about belief. It's about assurance. It's about conviction.
See, faith isn't some wishy-washy feeling. It's about having firm confidence in something or someone. Deep down in your bones, it's about knowing that you can trust in what you can't see.
But here's the thing: faith requires an object. You can't just have faith floating around in the ether. No, you've got to have faith in something—or someone. It's that trust, that reliance, that changes everything.
Today we are going to be looking at Hebrews chapter one verses one through six to help us understand faith just a bit better.
The author of the book of Hebrews begins in verse one of chapter eleven and writes.
Hebrews 11:1 ESV
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
So, right off the bat, we're hit with this powerful statement: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for." But what does that really mean?
Well, let's break it down. When the author talks about faith being the assurance of things hoped for, he's getting to the heart of what faith is all about. It's not just wishful thinking or blind optimism. No, it's a deep, unwavering confidence in the promises of God.
Think about it. We all have hopes, dreams, things we long for. And faith? Faith gives us that assurance, confidence, that what we're hoping for will actually come to pass. It's like having a firm grip on the future, even when we can't see it yet.
But the author doesn't stop there. He talks about faith as "the conviction of things not seen." Now, that's a bit trickier to wrap our heads around.
Here's the thing: faith isn't just about what we can see or touch. It's about believing in something—even when it's invisible to the naked eye. It's about trusting in the promises of God, even when they seem too good to be true.
And that's where the rubber meets the road. It's easy to have faith when everything's going our way. But when the storms hit. When doubts creep in. That's when our faith is put to the test. And it's in those moments that we discover the depth of our conviction and trust in the God who holds our future in His hands.
So, as we meditate on Hebrews 11:1, let's remember that faith isn't just a feeling—it's a firm foundation, a rock-solid assurance, in the promises of our faithful God.
In verse two we read.
Hebrews 11:2 ESV
For by it the people of old received their commendation.
When discussing faith, we can't ignore the incredible examples we find in the Old Testament. These men and women, flawed and imperfect just like us, displayed an unwavering trust in God that inspires us today.
Consider Abraham, called to leave his home and journey to a land he'd never seen. Or Moses, leading the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, trusting in God's provision every step of the way. These were ordinary people who did extraordinary things because of their faith.
But here's what blows my mind: their faith didn't just impact their lives. No, it earned them a commendation from God Himself. Talk about a gold star on your report card!
When God looks at His faithful servants, He doesn't see their flaws or failures. He sees their faith. He sees their willingness to trust Him, even when the odds are stacked against them. And that's what earns them a place of honor in His sight.
You might be thinking, "That's all well and good for them, but what about us?" Well, let me tell you: their stories are our stories. Their faith journey is our faith journey.
Like Abraham, we're called to step out in faith, even when it's scary. Just like Moses, we're called to trust God's provision, even when the way seems impossible. Their examples remind us that faith isn't just a relic of the past—it's a living, breathing reality for us today.
So, as we reflect on Hebrews 11:2, let's be inspired by the faith of our forefathers. Let's follow in their footsteps, trusting in the God who has proven Himself faithful time and time again.
Our journey of faith continues and in verse three we read.
Hebrews 11:3 ESV
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Faith plays a crucial role when it comes to understanding the world around us. The author of Hebrews reminds us that "by faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God."
Now, that's a powerful statement. It's saying that faith isn't just some optional add-on to our understanding of creation—it's the foundation upon which it's built. Without faith, we're left grasping in the dark, trying to make sense of a chaotic and random world. But with faith? With faith, we see the handiwork of a loving and sovereign God behind every star in the sky, every blade of grass, every breath we take.
Now, I know what some of you might be thinking. "But what about reason? What about science?" And you know what? Those are essential questions. Faith and reason aren't enemies—they're partners in the search for truth.
Think about it. The more we study the intricacies of the universe, the more we uncover the fingerprints of God. Science can tell us how the world works, but faith explains why. Faith gives us the bigger picture, the ultimate purpose behind it all.
And let's not forget the most essential part of all: God's sovereignty. See, it's not just blind faith we're talking about here—it's faith in a God who spoke the universe into existence. It's faith in a God who holds all things together by the power of His word.
Think about that for a moment. The same God who spoke light into darkness, separated the waters from the land, breathed life into Adam's lungs—that's the God we're putting our faith in. And let me tell you if He can create the heavens and the earth with just a word, imagine what He can do in our lives when we put our trust in Him.
Now, in verse four we read.
Hebrews 11:4 ESV
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.
Now, Abel and Cain—what a pair. These two brothers couldn't be more different in their approach to worship. Abel, a shepherd, offered a sacrifice from the best of his flock with a heart full of faith and reverence for God. Cain, a farmer, offered the fruits of his labor but with a heart tainted by jealousy and pride.
And what was the result? God looked with favor on Abel's offering but rejected Cain's. Why? Because Abel's sacrifice was offered in faith, while Cain's was not. See, it's not just about going through the motions—it's about the condition of our hearts when we come before God in worship.
Now, here's where things get really interesting. The author of Hebrews tells us that "by faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous."
What does that mean? It means that Abel wasn't just seen as righteous because of his actions but because of his faith. It's a powerful reminder that our good deeds do not earn us favor with God—it's our faith in Him.
But here's the kicker: Abel's story didn't end with his sacrifice. No, his legacy of faithfulness continues to inspire us to this day. He may have been killed by his brother, but his faith spoke louder than any act of violence.
And that's the thing about faith. It's not just for the here and now—it's for future generations. When we live lives of faithfulness and worship God with all our hearts, we leave behind a legacy that echoes throughout eternity.
Then in verse five we read.
Hebrews 11:5 ESV
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.
Enoch—now there's a name you don't hear every day. Yet, his story speaks volumes about the power of faith. You see, Enoch walked with God. Not just figuratively but literally. He had such an intimate relationship with God that he didn't experience death like the rest of us. Talk about a unique faith experience!
So, why was Enoch so special? Well, it all comes down to his faith. The author of Hebrews tells us that "by faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him." Wow, now that's what I call a divine disappearing act!
But here's the thing: it wasn't Enoch's good deeds or impressive resume that pleased God—it was his faith. It was his unwavering trust in God, his commitment to walking in obedience, even when it seemed counter-cultural or downright crazy.
Now, you might think, "Well, that's all well and good for Enoch, but what about us?" Well, Enoch's story is a reminder that faith isn't just for the super-spiritual or the larger-than-life heroes of the Bible. No, it's for each and every one of us.
Like Enoch, we're called to walk closely with God in faith. To trust Him, even when the path seems uncertain. To obey Him, even when it goes against the grain. And who knows? Maybe, just maybe, our faithfulness will lead to extraordinary outcomes, just like it did for Enoch.
Finally, in verse six we read:
Hebrews 11:6 ESV
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Now, if there's one thing we need to understand about our relationship with God, it's this: faith is critical. The author of Hebrews makes it crystal clear when he tells us that "without faith it is impossible to please him."
So, what does that mean for us? It means our good deeds, religious rituals, and moral behavior—none of it means a thing if it's not rooted in faith. See, faith is what pleases God. It's what moves His heart. It's what draws us into deeper communion with Him.
But here's the beautiful thing about faith: it's not blind. It's not a shot in the dark. No, faith is based on two essential beliefs: first, that God exists, and second, that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Think about that for a moment. We're not just trusting some abstract idea or distant deity. No, we put our trust in a loving God actively involved in our lives. And not only that, but He rewards us when we seek Him with all our hearts. That's a promise we can cling to.
So, where do we go from here? Well, it's time to take our faith to the next level. It's time to move beyond a superficial, surface-level faith and dive deep into a faith-driven life.
That means trusting God in the big things and the small things. It means stepping out in obedience, even when it's scary. It means seeking God with all our hearts, knowing He is faithful to reward us.
So, let's commit today to living lives that please God, rooted and grounded in faith. Because when we do, we'll experience the abundant life God promised those who love Him.
Let's bring it home with some practical examples of how faith can provide stability and hope in uncertain times.

Faith in Uncertain Times

So, picture this: you're facing a significant crisis. It could be a health scare, a financial setback, or a relationship breakdown. Whatever it is, it feels like the ground beneath you is shaking, and you're unsure where to turn.
But then, amid the chaos, you remember your faith. You remember the promises of God, the assurance that He is with you, that He will never leave you nor forsake you. And suddenly, everything shifts.
Instead of giving in to fear and despair, you find yourself standing firm, anchored in the truth of God's Word. You find peace in the storm, knowing that your Heavenly Father is in control, that He is working all things together for your good.
And as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you find hope rising within you. Hope that transcends circumstances, that defies logic, that whispers, "It is well with my soul."
That, my friends, is the power of faith. It's not just a crutch for the weak or a coping mechanism for the desperate. No, it's a rock-solid foundation, a lifeline during the storm.
So, I encourage each of you: whatever you're facing, whatever uncertainties lie ahead, cling to your faith. Hold fast to the promises of God. And know that, no matter what, you are never alone.

Cultivating an Active, Living Trust in God

It's one thing to say we have faith, but it's another thing entirely to live it out in our day-to-day lives. So, how do we do that? How do we cultivate an active, living trust in God?
Well, it starts with intentionality. It begins with consciously deciding to put our trust in God, not just when things are going well but especially when they're not.
That means praying daily and inviting God into our lives, decisions, and struggles. It means opening up His Word, soaking in the truth, and allowing it to transform us from the inside out.
But it doesn't stop there. Cultivating an active, living trust in God means stepping out in obedience, even when it's uncomfortable. It means taking risks and trusting that God leads and guides us, even when the path seems uncertain.
And let's remember community. Cultivating faith isn't a solo journey—we take this journey together as the body of Christ. So, let's lean on, encourage, and spur one another toward love and good deeds.
So, let's commit to cultivating an active, living trust in God in our daily lives. Let's be people who walk the talk, who live out our faith in tangible ways, and who point others to the One in whom our trust is firmly placed.

So What?

Faith isn't just a nice idea or a comforting sentiment. No, it's a game-changer. It's the difference between merely existing and truly living. It gives us hope in the midst of despair, peace in chaos, and joy in sorrow.
Understanding the depth of what faith truly means—assurance, conviction, trust—changes everything. It shifts our perspective, realigns our priorities, and anchors our souls in the unshakable truth of God's promises.
So, I want to challenge each of you today: embrace assurance and conviction in your faith journey. Don't settle for a lukewarm, wishy-washy faith. No, dare to believe with all your heart, trust with all your soul, and walk with boldness and confidence in the God who holds the universe in His hands.
Let your faith be a beacon of light in a world of doubt and fear. Let it testify to the goodness and faithfulness of our Heavenly Father. And let it be a catalyst for transformation, both in your own life and the lives of those around you.
Let's face it: life is full of uncertainties. From unexpected challenges to unanswered questions, it's easy to feel like we're being tossed to and fro by the storms of life.
But here's the good news: anchoring our faith in the assurance of God's promises and the conviction of His truth, we find stability in the chaos. We're no longer at the mercy of our circumstances but firmly grounded on the solid rock of God's faithfulness.
In those moments when doubt creeps in and uncertainty threatens to overwhelm us, our faith sustains us. It enables us to stand firm, hold fast, and keep pressing forward, even when the way seems dark and uncertain.
Because here's the thing about faith: it's not just a fair-weather friend. No, it's a steadfast anchor for the soul, a beacon of hope during the storm. It's what enables us to weather the trials of life with courage and grace, knowing that our God is faithful and true.
So, to all of you wrestling with doubt or uncertainty today, I offer you this encouragement: hold fast to your faith. Anchor yourself in the assurance of God's love and the conviction of His truth. And watch as He steadies your heart, calms your fears, and guides you safely through the storm.
As the psalmist declares in Psalm 46:1-3, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling."
We've spent this time diving deep into the powerful truths of faith—assurance, conviction, and trust. But now comes the real test: will we apply these principles to our lives?
It's one thing to hear a sermon, to nod our heads in agreement, and then go about our business as usual. But it's another thing entirely to take what we've learned and put it into practice. To step out in faith, even when it's uncomfortable. To trust God with our whole hearts, even when the path ahead seems uncertain.
So, I want to challenge you today: commit to living out your faith in tangible ways. Whether praying more fervently, studying Scripture more diligently, or reaching out to a fellow believer in need, let's consciously put our faith into action.
And let's not stop there. Let's be bold in our witness, courageous in our obedience, and relentless in our pursuit of God's kingdom here on earth. Because when we do, we'll not only experience the abundant life that Jesus promised—we'll become beacons of light in a world darkened by doubt and despair.
Faith isn't just about believing in God—it's about trusting Him enough to follow where He leads. It's about stepping out into the unknown, knowing that He goes before us, preparing the way.
So, I want to challenge you today: don't let fear hold you back. Don't let doubt paralyze you. Instead, step out in faith, trusting that God will guide you every step of the way.
But the beautiful thing about faith is that it's not a solo journey. No, our God promises to walk with us, uphold us, and sustain us through every trial and tribulation.
So, when the road gets tough—and believe me, it will—remember the promises of God. Remember that He is faithful, true, and with you always, even to the end of the age.

Living Out Our Faith

Today, we've been reminded of the incredible power of faith—assurance, conviction, and trust. And now, as we prepare to leave, let's remember that we've been empowered by the Holy Spirit to make a difference in this world.
So, let's go forth from this place with boldness and courage, knowing that we serve a God who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. Let's be salt and light in a world that desperately needs the hope and love of Jesus Christ.
As we go from here today, let's go with hearts full of faith and hands ready to serve. Let's be people who live out our faith in tangible ways, who love God and love others with all that we are.
And let's never forget the words of Hebrews 10:23, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful."
So, let's go out and live godly lives. Let's be a shining example of what it means to walk by faith, trusting in the goodness and faithfulness of our Heavenly Father.
And as we do, let's watch as God moves mountains, transforms lives, and brings about His kingdom here on earth.
Amen.
Heavenly Father,
As we come to the end of our time together, we want to thank You for the powerful truths we've explored today. Thank You for the gift of faith—assurance, conviction, trust—that anchors us in the midst of life's storms.
Lord, we pray that You would help us to apply these principles to our lives—to step out in faith, trusting You to guide and sustain us. Give us the courage to live boldly for You, to love You and love others with all that we are.
May we be salt and light in a world that desperately needs Your hope and love. May we be a shining example of what it means to walk by faith, to trust in Your goodness and faithfulness.
And Lord, as we go from this place today, we ask for Your blessing upon each person here. May Your presence go before them, Your peace be upon them, and Your strength sustain them in all that they do.
We thank You for Your faithfulness, Lord, and we commit ourselves afresh to living lives that bring glory and honor to Your name.
In Jesus' name we pray,
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.
Amen.
Be Blessed to be a Blessing.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more