Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
Substance – This is an interesting word – hypostasis. In the Greek, it’s related to science and medicine. It’s the sediment, or residue of something that has settled. It is the evidence that something has happened.
Is this your idea of faith – something that’s visible and concrete? Is it the left over residue that others see after you’ve committed yourself to making something happen? Or is faith something mysterious and spiritual?
Well it’s definitely not rocket science. In fact it’s the lowest level of it – it’s the left over substance of whatever just happened. Maybe the experiment went wrong and the result isn’t what you planned, but we know you tried something because we see the faith just sitting there, spewed out across the room. Or maybe the experiment went well and your hypothesis has been proven true! Again, we’d know you attempted something because there’s leftover stuff sitting there. That’s what faith is. It’s the result of an action.
Remember what James wrote? Faith without works is dead. The concept of “faith alone” (sola fide) isn’t in the Bible. I know it’s preached and evangelized, but it’s not in the Bible. Faith alone is dead – that’s in the Bible (James 2:17). Think about that. Residue isn’t much to look at. It’s not much to rejoice over. It’s the minor result of something greater – an action. Your faith is there because of a greater action you did. Now if this action was of your own will, then it’s probably a failure… and you’ll learn, and grow. But there’s the faith as the evidence of that mistake. And when that action is something so true that it aligns with the will of God, and glorifies His name in the world… that becomes something wonderful. The faith that resides after that action is again, the proof of God’s work through you.
What I’m getting at here is that faith isn’t something cognitive. It’s not something mysterious, and it doesn’t happen in the brain. It’s real and can be seen by others around you. So go out there and do something. It’s not going to ‘save’ you, but it will create the evidence of faith. We need to get out of our comfort zones and let God use us. You see, if the scientific method works on your experiment, then others should be able to perform those same actions and end up with the same results… and residue. Their faith will grow from the righteous actions that God performs through them in the world. But you have to abide in Yeshua, and make sure the action is His will.