As a fundamentalist boy I had to learn my Bible verses from the King James Bible. One I remember clearly is Hebrews 11.1 “For faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” For some reason I always loved the way that rolled off the tongue. It had a marvelous and mysterious meaning. I knew it sounded grand, but didn’t really know what it meant.

What does it mean that faith is the substance of things hoped for? There is a lot packed in here, but at first I suppose it meant that if you were hoping for something, that faith somehow made it come true. What the writer of Hebrews is saying is that faith, in some way, makes the what you had hoped for a reality. How can that be?  What you hope for is something good. Nobody would hope for a bad thing. Therefore the good thing you hope for comes alive in your life through faith. Faith is therefore a dynamic action of the mind, heart and will.  It is a mindset and a way of life that makes all the good things you hope for start to become true and real.

But there is more to it than that, and it was the word ‘substance’ which got me thinking about it further today. [Read More.]