“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
The core declaration of the Reformation is that we are saved by grace through faith. It is by faith that we receive the life-giving gifts that God gives to us in Christ. These gifts come freely because God loves us and offers them to us. We receive them, not because we deserve them, but because God wants us to live and flourish. The things God has promised that we still await and long for? Faith assures us that in Christ, they are already ours even though they remain unseen so far.
Faith is not primarily about agreeing with a doctrine or idea. Faith is not centered on having the right information and therefore God rewards us with a prize for being such great students. Faith is assurance. Faith is about trusting God – not just believing the correct things about God but even more believing in (have confidence in) God’s commitment to us.
People who believe are better able to stop worrying about the future. God has promised us life and love. How these look and how they happen in our own futures is always a bit fuzzy. We can’t see the future very clearly. But we need not worry about our ultimate future if we trust God.
There may be serious bumps and bruises along the way. Things may happen that challenge our faith and urge us to stop trusting God and to waiver in our convictions that God can be trusted. But the life, death and resurrection of Jesus ultimately tells us that trusting God, even when our immediate circumstances are difficult, allows us to continue to live in hope.