Thoughts for the Day

Saturday, 28th January 2023: What is faith?

God the Father God the Son Faith Trust Hebrews 11

Reading : Verses from Hebrews, Chapter 11

Abraham and Isaac

* Picture of Abraham and Isaac.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval.....

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised.’.....

By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, ‘It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named after you.’ He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


We use the word "faith" in everyday language quite a lot. We talk about 'having faith' in someone. As a small child we usually 'have faith' in a parent or carer. But all of this also involves 'trust'. We have faith in the other person when we trust them. If Mum or Dad says "put on your gloves its cold outside" we do so because we trust they know best. If a friend in another town says "Don't worry, I can drive you to the station in time to catch your train home", we trust them because they know the way better than we do.

But the word 'faith' in our Bible also involves 'hope', and this feels a little more nebulous. The writer to the Hebrews says it is being assured of 'things hoped for'. Well I may hope to win some money on the lottery, but I don't think I'm sure it will happen. So what's missing in this? Well, to trust someone completely, to live in hope that their promises are true, in other words to have faith in them, means we have to get to know that person well. To get to know God is no different. We can know God through reading our Bible and talking to Him in prayer. In doing so our faith and our confidence in Him will increase as we draw closer and closer to Him.

So what is faith? Faith is trust, and being sure in the hope that God offers. Then like Abraham we are called to demonstrate that in our life. Perhaps all of us should start by actually asking God for more faith!


Lord Jesus Christ,
You taught us that You and the Father are one,
and You prayed that we too would be one.
Renew our faith in Your promises,
and draw us closer to You,
so that this living faith
shows itself in the way we live our life,
and others are drawn to You.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to read again the words in John's Gospel where Jesus talks of himself and God as one, and where he prays to the Father that we too, in the future, will be one with God. I have used the International Children's Bible. Look especially at verse 20.

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