Often Used But Misunderstood (Part 1)

Rhordan Wicks


In this series, we revisit terms so commonly tossed around in Christian jargon that we forgot their true meaning. The big word of the week: Faith

Understanding what faith is, is important because our salvation depends on it. Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (NIV)

A definition of faith is given by the author of the book of Hebrews. 

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” ~ Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

Believing in “what we do not see” means that our faith cannot be based on the changing circumstances we find ourselves in. On the other hand, we are not called to have blind faith. The substance of what we believe in is more crucial than how much faith we have. As Jesus said to His disciples: 

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20-21 (NIV)

We are asked to have confidence in who God is, and trust that God will keep His promises – even if we do not live to receive God’s promise. 

Biblical faith is behaving like we actually believe what God says. The question then is what is God saying to you today?


  1. The book of Hebrews was written to encourage Jewish Christians who were facing persecution at the time. Hence, many references to the Old Testament are made. Can you list out the examples of men and women of faith the author makes reference to in Hebrews 11:4-31?
  2. Choose 2 or 3 examples of the persons named in Hebrews 11 and answer the following:

    What challenges had the person been facing, if at all? E.g. Abraham and Sarah wanted children but Sarah was past the age to conceive.

    (b) What did God say to the person? What promise(s) did God make?

    (c) Did this person live to see the fulfilment of all of God’s promise(s)? Read Hebrews 11:13-16; Deuteronomy 34:4.

    (d) How are you challenged by the faith of these heroes?

  3. Hebrews 12:1-2 points us to Jesus as the “author and finisher of our faith”. What then did Jesus pray for all believers? Read John 17:20-26.

    (a) Is there something that you have been praying or hoping for?

    (b) What is the reason behind your prayer or hope? Has God given you a word for this situation?

    (c) Instead of praying for a particular outcome, would you pray that God’s glory and His will for that situation be made known to you?


Going through trials and tribulations does not build up our faith. Rather, they reveal what faith we already have. We exercise our faith by seeking God’s word for our lives daily.

So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” – Romans 10:17 (NLT)


“Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” – Hebrews 12:1b-2a (NLT)