Merriam-Webster dictionary defines faith as strong belief or trust in someone or something. Another definition provided is belief in the existence of God. The Apostle Paul provides an even more profound definition of faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV) Faith is both substance and evidence. Faith is the ultimate reality that underlies all outward manifestation and change ~ substance. Faith is also a visible sign, proof, or something that shows something else exists or is true ~ evidence.
The Scripture reference shows how faith and hope coincide. To hope is to cherish with anticipation. The same things that are the object of our hope are the object of our faith. We are persuaded and maintain expectancy that God will fulfill what He has promised. Our faith surpasses beyond what we can see in the natural. We have the blessed assurance that whatever the circumstance God will deliver.
Faith is a virtue that comes from God. It is a gift of grace that God gave to us. By us accepting this gift, we were delivered from eternal damnation and provided with eternal salvation. It is not earned by our own efforts or any product of our natural ability. (Ephesians 2:8) In Hebrews 11:6 (KJV), the Apostle Paul tells us “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” God gives us the gift of faith that not only blesses us but empower us to please Him.
This is where we transition from faith as a noun (person, place or thing) to a verb (In this case, a transient verb. Transient verbs are action verbs that have an object to receive that action.). We must believe that God is Being of infinite perfections, existing in three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We must endeavor to earnestly, perseveringly seek God with all our hearts. We will not regret our efforts once in our pursuit.
Faith in action does not simply mean to believe in God’s existence. In James 2:26 (KJV), we learn that “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” The Apostle James compares a dead body with dead faith to emphasis the significance of active faith. What use do we have with a dead body? There is no beauty, no action, and it becomes a loathsome carcass.
Apostle James asked in James 2:14, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?” This means that even with our best efforts to be a good person or Good Samaritan without faith is meaningless. “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:18, KJV) Works are only good when they are the offspring of our love for God. Good works derive from a believing heart from one that has been reconciled to God. We must have faith and works not faith or works.
Consider receiving a gift from a loved one that you could truly appreciate. The gift is multidimensional and it possesses many attributes and benefits. By exploring the gift, you make discoveries about yourself. Hidden talents are stirred, and revealed. The gift allows you to develop skills that you may never believe possible. With regular use, you are able to hone your abilities and go beyond what you could ever conceive to be possible. Had you never opened or utilize the gift you would have never discovered your talents or abilities. The expansion of knowledge that you now possess would not have occurred. Our actions reflect our appreciation for the gift and motivate us to act. Do we appreciate our gift of faith? Does it motivate us to action?