Faith Claims the Future in the Present

9e55028abd8c744089e384a3041d6a09“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1, ESV). The word, “assurance” or “substance” (NKJV) is from the Greek (hupostasis), “substantial nature, essence, reality” (Gingrich). Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith is the reality of things hoped for.

But there is another meaning of the word hupostasis. In the LXX (Greek Translation of the OT), the word is used of “ground,” “foundation,” or “support.” (Paul Ellingworth, NIGTC) Psalm 69:2 (LXX 68:3) reads—“I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold.” The Greek word for “foothold” is the same word, hupostasis. Thus, faith is the “foothold” of things hoped for. Ezekiel 26:11 reads, “He will kill your people with the sword, and your mighty pillars will fall to the ground.” The Greek for “pillars” is hupostasis. Thus, faith is the “pillar” of things hoped for.

There was a man of faith named George Mueller of London, England. He ran an orphanage of 300 children by faith.

“The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is no food for them to eat,” the housemother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as he always did. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. “Mr. Mueller,” he said, “last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in.”

“Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 thirsty children.”[1]

Faith is the substance, the ground of things hoped for.

The “things hoped for” in v. 1 are not yet realized today. Since the things hoped for are unrealized, we need enduring faith. (D. Pentecost) This enduring faith makes the things hoped for a reality in the present.

[1] “George Mueller, Orphanages Built by Prayer,” Christianity.com. Cited January 16, 2016. Online: http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/church-history-for-kids/george-mueller-orphanages-built-by-prayer-11634869.html.

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