“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”

(Heb 11:1).

If you study very closely, you’d realize very quickly that faith and hope are inextricably linked throughout the bible. The word ‘substance’ here, is hupostasis in the Greek, which means confidence. Hebrews 11:1 therefore, can be better translated to mean that faith is confidence…in the things hoped for.


What is hoped for? It would be petty to assume that ‘hope’ here is used to refer to material things such as a car, house or lots of money. If you stay true to the context, the meaning of this text would be very clear to you.

Just a few verses before Hebrews 11, Heb 10:37, 38 says:  “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” It becomes obvious here, that hope in Hebrews 11: 1 is referring to the ‘hope of the coming of Christ.’ This hope, according to our last article refers specifically to the hope of the consummation of our salvation.

Understanding that will help us better understand faith. Faith is the expression of security and confidence in the hope of salvation. A person who lives a faith life is someone whose entire life is an expression of security and confidence in the hope of salvation. Faith is not an emergency number you dial, it is a life you live. The just shall live by faith!

Faith is any action you take that substantiates your hope. For those in the Old Testament, their actions pointed to the fact that they believed in the provision of salvation, they believed in the Messiah that was to come.

Take a cue from the man Abraham. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he would after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went ((Heb 11:8). God wanted Christ to come from Abraham’s lineage. Abraham may not have had the full picture at that time, but he followed God even when he did not know where he was going. A man of faith has corresponding actions that point to his hope.