Let’s read that precious verse: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (NASB). This chapter has been called the “FAITH chapter” and thus it is fitting that it begins by giving us the “nature of faith.” It’s not really a “definition”; rather it tells us, as one has said, “what faith does for us.” What does it do for us? It gives us absolute ASSURANCE regarding the things that God has promised us in the future, for the “things hoped for” are MADE REAL to the “eye of faith.” It also gives us a positive CONVICTION of every blessing we have in Christ, even though they are “unseen” by the “natural eye.” The world has a saying, “Seeing is believing”; but the Christian can say, “Believing is seeing!” The former is illustrated for us in John 20:25 when Thomas said, “UNLESS I SEE in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I WILL NOT BELIEVE” (NKJV). The latter is beautifully expressed by the Lord Jesus in verse 29: “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND YET HAVE BELIEVED.”

How do we acquire faith? This is brought out clearly in Romans 10:17, “So FAITH comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It is through the inerrant, infallible WORD OF GOD that faith springs up in our hearts. God speaks to us and WE BELIEVE HIM! Those who refuse to believe God’s Word know nothing of this blessed faith that is imparted to the one who simply “takes God at His Word,” and thus they lack ASSURANCE and CONVICTION. But the believer has complete confidence in every inspired word in the Holy Scriptures. Faith in God’s Word gives the believer a spiritual “sixth sense” that allows him to lay hold of the unseen world to come, just as we have “five senses” (hearing, seeing, tasting, touching, smelling) that enable us to appropriate and appreciate the present world around us. May we (dear fellow-believer) never take for granted this amazing GIFT OF FAITH. “For by grace you have been saved through FAITH, and that not of yourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD” (Ephesians 2:8). (270.1) (DO)