Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
This verse is often misunderstood. But if we read it carefully with a knowledge of what faith really is, we will grasp it much more fully. First, what is faith (biblically)? Faith is rooted in hindsight. We have faith in God because of what He has done, not what He might do. How many times did God refer to Himself or Moses refer to Him as the “one who brought you out of Egypt”? Or how God encourages Job about his circumstances by pointing to creation as one of His mighty feats. With a God who is capable of these things, why would we worry or doubt? Faith is rooted in hindsight. Often, this verse in Hebrews is used to exemplify “blind faith,” which is the mentality of believing without any proof. But that is not what the author of Hebrews is saying. No, faith is not rooted in the “things hoped for” or “not seen.” Faith is the “assurance,” and “conviction” of things hoped for and unseen. I know that seems like a minor difference, but I assure you it is not. Think of this verse this way: Now faith (rooted in hindsight) provides us with the assurance that the things we hope for can be done by the conviction (proof) about what God has already done (things not seen). God never asked us to trust Him without any proof that He was real. When Thomas doubted, Jesus provided proof (John 20:24-28). When Gideon wanted assurances, God acquiesced (Judges 6). Our Christian faith is not built on hopes and blind faith. No, it is built on centuries of faithfulness from a God who loves us and is willing to prove Himself—not convinced? Ask Him, and He will prove Himself once again.