Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | December 29, 2020

Give Evidence

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not see.”. Hebrews 11:1

At first glance, this verse from the author of Hebrews sounds confusing. How is faith “substance” and “evidence”? Isn’t faith just a belief or trust, usually in someone or something? And wouldn’t “evidence” or proof come not from the belief itself but from the actions/outcomes of that thing or person in which (or in whom) we’re placing our faith?

Well, yes and no. Faith is belief and trust…but faith is also substantive evidence.

When you walk into a restaurant, a waiting room, or someone else’s kitchen, and are asked to sit down, you probably don’t think twice as you glance at the empty chair and move to place your backside upon it. You have faith it will support you. Your faith is evidence that you trust the chair…and your faith is evidenced by your sitting down. Your faith is the evidence of things not seen—in this case, the unseen structure of the chair.

Faith is also the “substance of things hoped for.” This is exemplified every time you get in an automobile and drive down the road, hoping that the vehicles traveling in the opposite direction adhere to the unspoken instruction of that little yellow painted line. Your faith is the stuff of hope that others follow driving rules. And, again, your faith is evidenced by the fact you’re driving at all.

The list of illustrations goes on and on. But, as Christians, the meaning of “faith” as “substance” and “evidence” is pretty powerful. Our faith in Jesus Christ—and what He accomplished on our behalf, and how we are changed because of it—is the stuff of our hope! We know our future comes from our faith. And our faith is the evidence of what we cannot see with our eyes. We haven’t yet seen, but we have experienced the miracle of salvation, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the Providential answers to prayer. This is all evidence of our faith! (It’s mind-boggling and mind-blowing at the same time, I know.)

But let’s take one more step into the depth of this heady verse. Since faith is evidence (proof) of our belief, and our faith is evidenced (proven) by the One in whom we are placing our trust, a question bubbles up to the surface: How are we giving evidence of this faith? Do the people with whom we interact see our faith in action? Do we show love to our neighbors (Mark 12:31)? Are we kind, patient, good, gentle, and self-controlled (Gal 5:22-23)? Do we shine in all we do, glorifying God (Matt 5:16)?

As Believers, we have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ—by His grace through our faith we are saved (Eph 2:8-9). But if that’s what it’s all about, why doesn’t God just scoop us up into Heaven at the moment of salvation? Because we are called to walk in and by faith, taking action to demonstrate our faith to a fallen and broken world (James 2:14-26). We are called to give evidence of a Holy God and mighty Savior. How will they know of His love and mercy if we don’t tell them (Rom 10:14)—and show them?

You may be a lawyer, or perhaps you’ve been on a jury. (Maybe you’ve been in court for other reasons, but I won’t ask.) But all of us have at least seen courtroom dramas on television. You know that the ultimate verdict demands strong evidence. And I just love what I heard someone once say: If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence of your faith in Jesus to convict you?

“Lord, I have faith in You and am grateful for your grace, mercy, and love. Let me give evidence daily to this through my words and actions…let me sway the jury of my peers to the Truth of Who You are.”


For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Ministry

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