The Meaning of Faith in the Bible

The Meaning of Faith in the Bible

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 

Hebrews 11:1 NIV

When I first became a Christian at age seventeen, I struggled to understand the meaning of faith. I looked up definitions and read Christian tracts and booklets, but I just couldn’t grasp the meaning. Maybe I was too young and inexperienced.

As I got older, I began writhing through trials and storms. I survived them all, and upon retrospection, I can safely say it was God’s love and faithfulness that kept me. Through God’s guidance in my life, I finally understood what faith meant.

The rest of Hebrews 11 names various individuals who demonstrated faith. These examples indicate that faith is not mere wishful thinking or a vague hope of getting what we desire. What their lives prove is that faith is a conviction that God will deliver on his promises, even though we cannot see or understand how he will accomplish them.

Part of this conviction is explained in verse 6:

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Hebrews 11:6 NIV.

Abraham’s Faith

We see this demonstration of faith come to life in Abraham’s life. God told Abraham to leave his father’s home to become a sojourner. He promised Abraham he would make him the father of many nations (Genesis 17:5). Despite being close to one hundred years, and Sarah, his wife, no longer of child-bearing age, Abraham believed, as described in Romans 4:20-21:

“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.”

Abraham didn’t live to see God’s promises fulfilled. But we today, by reading the bible, are blessed to witness how God went about accomplishing His covenant with Abraham.

And don’t forget the author and finisher of our faith Jesus Christ. Jesus told Thomas, who, at first refused to believe Jesus was alive: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:19).

Today, our faith lies in Jesus Christ, our Savior. Our reliance and dependence on him is critical to living a life full of faith.

The meaning of faith as described in the bible is a firm belief in God, belief in His Son Jesus Christ and belief he will accomplish everything he set out to do regardless of the circumstances.

Next Friday and following for the next three weeks, I will give more biblical examples of faith and some experiences from my own life.

Reflect and Respond

Read Hebrews 11. Make note of each person mentioned and look up their stories. Which individual/s impacted you most? Journal your insights.


Lord, thank you for always keeping your promises. You are my confident assurance in hard times. Help me to be obedient as I place my faith and trust in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Used with permission from Lisa Marcelina Granger.

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