What does faith mean to you? Perhaps it’s just a name, a distant memory; maybe a present trial or a last hope in crisis. We can have faith in many things – people, objects, emotions, experiences, things unseen . . . But what does faith actually mean? God says faith is “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). Therefore, whenever there are unknowns or uncertainties in life, faith is the key to peace – but how is it lived out practically? Let’s consider three aspects of faith in the Christian life: the “event” of faith, enduring faith, and the end of faith.


As a believer I can look back to the one-time event of initial faith at salvation. One moment when I accepted that I was a sinner deserving of hell, but that God in love sent Jesus Christ to die to save me from sin’s judgement. He rose again so I can live forever with God in heaven. Nothing more, nothing less. Simple salvation “by grace . . . through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). Can you look back at that turning point of salvation in your life? If you can, you can be confident and satisfied that you are saved – no one can take it away. Your child-like faith in God meant He adopted and transformed you. Now we have to show evidence of faith.

The evidence of that one-time faith event that saves is that we go on to have enduring faith that obeys. It could be summarised by the acrostic “Forsaking All I Trust Him”. Faith may begin “as small as a mustard seed” (Matthew 17:20 NIV) but it will still bring blessing. However, our faith should grow deeper and bring us increasingly closer to God throughout life. We should end up full of faith!

“Enduring” faith involves “Forwarding All Issues To Heaven”, leaving them there for God to sort – His are the best hands and plans. Why should we doubt the creator and sustainer of all things (see Hebrews 1:2,3)? As we read down the “hall of faith” in Hebrews 11, we read of imperfect people who at certain points in their lives doubted, questioned, and even laughed at God; yet they surrendered their lives into God’s hands and were content with His will. Based on my current lifestyle, could my name make it into that great chapter of faith? Perhaps there are some you would expect to find listed in this chapter who aren’t whereas some you would not have included who are on the list. God knows all about each one of His people, even though they aren’t always perceived correctly by us. Maybe you feel unnoticed by other believers and are struggling – God knows, He cares, He understands, and He will reward those “who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Don’t look sideways for faith or purpose, look upward. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

Amongst the armour of God is “the shield of faith” (Ephesians 6:16), the shield being the main barrier between us and the attacker. During our lives, faith in God (remember it’s His armour), and not faith in anything else, is our defence against the world and the devil. Maybe as believers we feel lost, scared, anxious, lacking purpose. . . could it be that we aren’t always following God’s leading? When we allow Him to guide us, we can trust that, as a “faithful God” (Deuteronomy 7:9), He will keep, protect, and “uphold [us] with [His] righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). Weak faith  encourages doubt: “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt” (Matthew 14:31). Instead, the Christian life is to be completely and contentedly characterised by faith: “the righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17 ESV). As an army stands together to form a stronger defence and attack, we too can “be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith (Romans 1:12 ESV) and build one another up to be stronger and closer to God.

In life we put our trust in non-perfect things, knowing full well they could let us down. We sit on a chair knowing it could collapse but hoping it won’t. These things may be small and insignificant, but when it comes to life’s big decisions, such as finances, employment, mission work and relationships, why are we not quicker at taking it to our perfect, omniscient God who won’t let us down? “Without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6), and our faith doesn’t “rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:5 NIV).

There is coming a day when living “by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7) will cease because we “shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). What a wonderful day that will be! Our faith (belief in the unseen) will become sight . . . for eternity! Will I look back and regret what little faith I had in such a glorious God and wish I had trusted Him more and, therefore, in the words of the old hymn “given Him more”? “’What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV). What a wonderful incentive to our faith! These things are unseen currently, but God has promised them. We must trust Him to fulfil them; He will!

As I enter the splendacious grandeur of heaven someday, perhaps soon, will I honestly be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7), and will I hear God Himself say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23)?