When we read the infamous “faith chapter” Hebrews 11, we get a Biblical definition for the word faith:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (v. 1, ESV)
Of course, when you read this in any number of translations, you get many different shades of the same meaning:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (KJV)
“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” (MSG)
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (NIV)
“What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.” (NLT)
Except for The Message the other translations all use some form of the word “hope” in their definition of faith.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition of faith is:
1. a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2. a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3. : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
Finally, I turn to the Greek definition for the word. I have consolidated the definition for the sake of this discussion:
Faith is the conviction of the truth relating to God, Christ, or the religious beliefs of Christians. It is also belief with the predominate idea of trust in God or Christ.
Using this definition, the Bible, and the dictionary, I have defined faith as a trust in God, placed in your heart by God, to fulfill your hopes. It is made evident by the works seen as a result of your belief.
I want to know what anyone else defines “faith” as. Am I defining it correctly? What would you add, or take away from my definition, and why? Is there a better way to think about faith?
My other question is, when you think of a person (man or woman) of great faith from the Old Testament, who immediately springs to mind, and why?
I look forward to reading your responses.