“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” ~Hebrews 11:1
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the life — and world — changing message that, though we are more sinful and flawed than we had ever dared imagine, we can be more loved and accepted than we had ever dared hope, because Jesus Christ, in our place and on our behalf, lived the life we should have lived, and died the death we should have died, to save us. (1 Cor 15:1-4)
And the way we obtain this salvation is not by striving, nor by trying ever harder, nor by religious exercises, nor by repeating formulas, nor by anything we do at all, but simply by turning to Jesus and setting our trust in him as Lord and Savior. (Jhn 3:16)
It is by faith alone that we are united to Christ and rest secure in the salvation he has won for us.
But! Our faith is not a thing exercised once, “the hour we first believed,” then placed in storage with mothballs, as ideas subscribed to but not brought to bear. To the contrary, our faith is living and active. The Bible defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1)
Faith, therefore, is the stuff of assurance and conviction concerning the ultimate reality and priority of God’s promises. Faith is a living trust and whole-hearted reliance upon God for our very hope and life.
As followers of Jesus, we do not merely believe in God, we believe God. And in believing him, we are called to put our faith to work, to trust in his goodness, justice, and power to bear in the real life decisions we make through the course of every given day — that we will forgive and not seek vengeance, that we will love and not cultivate bitterness, that we will follow the pattern of our Master, who came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
St. Francis advised Christians to “preach the gospel always; and when necessary, use words.” Having been saved by grace, let us now live lives of gratitude and graciousness. Having been forgiven, let us forgive. Having been loved, let us love. And let us do all of this in the assurance and conviction that God’s promises are sure in Christ; that is, let us live by faith, believing God day by day, every day, all the way to glory.
- Jules Grisham