Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. (Hebrews 11:1-2)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
For me, part of growing in Jesus is learning what words mean. Here the author gives us as close to a definition that Scripture has for what “faith” means: “confidence… and assurance” in what “we hope for… and do not see.” Pretty personal, isn’t it? We have a role in that definition, because we’re doing the hoping and not-seeing. In the rest of what we call the 11th chapter we get a tour of a verbal museum of people who lived “by faith” — as defined by verse 1. And this is how Jesus comes into it: as the “pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Wow, what a phrase. Jesus is the Trailblazer of our “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” And Jesus is the Refiner of our “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” In the “race” analogy, Jesus is both the Starter, and holds the tape at the Finish Line. Jesus says, “Go!” and “Well done!” in your Monday today — “by faith.”
Lord, I will use the precious hours of my day today having confidence in you and assurance in the reality of your invisible presence and help. Amen.