A friend of mine asked me this morning what is faith. Is it magic or a panacea? I defined it this way. ‘It is a knowing and understanding that whatever is happening God is in the midst of it and all will be well.’
The King James version in Hebrews 11:1 which everybody uses to define faith says
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
To have substance means that this characteristic is natural for you. Other versions define it as an assurance, something that we are sure of.
Life is never certain. We make plans and invariably they don’t happen almost always never exactly as planned. Even a simple telephone call can throw our timing off track. We prioritize what is urgent and important, but very often it is disrupted, and we get anxious. Having faith allows us to feel the initial anxiety, like Mary when the angel came to her and then accept that God is there and will see you through the public shame. It was the same with Esther when she accepted that she had to go to the King to save her people. The rest of Hebrews 11 name men who had this kind of understanding of faith. Our anxieties may not have the kind of world-shattering consequences as the two women aforementioned, but to us, the feeling would be the same. In our anxiety, God says ‘do not be afraid’. Like so many before us, God will give us the courage to endure in this world of uncertainties. He will provide the strength even when we feel that we are just putting one foot in front of the other. God is here always guiding encouraging, providing comfort, whispering a word.
Our task then is to listen with our own knowing and understanding that God walks beside us always.
Contributed by Rev. Hilda Vaughan