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May 2023 – What Kind of Substance is Faith?

In a recent dream, I was running on an outdoor track.I was completely unencumbered, full of joy, and totally focused on Jesus.

I didn’t even notice until well into the run that there was a building with a large window next to the track, from which a group of observers were watching me. I continued on, joyfully focused on Jesus.


Through the dream, God encouraged me by highlighting Hebrews 12:1-2:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith,
let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)


He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.
He is Jesus,
the author
(instigator, writer)
and perfecter
(bringing to wholeness and completion)
of your faith.
Faith is Substance and Evidence

Hebrews chapter 11 helps me understand that faith isn’t some airy abstract nothing (no-thing), but an actual something that God gives us for an amazing purpose. The first verse alone is just bursting with revelation:

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

Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

Faith is a substance.

What kind of substance?

Scripture names faith as the substance of things hoped for. That means that faith is what those hoped-for things are actually made of. It is the stuff from which they will be—and are being—formed.

It pleases God to actually create things using our faith—just as Jesus taught, and as Hebrews 11 reiterates.

God has chosen to use our faith to bring those things that are not yet seen into things that can be seen in this world.

Faith is also evidence.

What kind of evidence?

Hebrews 11:1 says faith is the evidence of things not seen.

Evidence is the tracks left by what is real. It is the byproducts of true events. Evidence reveals the truth.

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews cites example after example of how walking by this unseen evidence, faith, empowered people to do impossible things.

Scripture teaches us, too, to live this way—and actually indicates that much depends on it. (See 2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 11:6, and Hebrews 12:1-2.)

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
More Faith Scriptures I’ve Been Thinking About

So, what is “the life of faith” that Hebrews 11:1 speaks about, and that such a great cloud of witnesses is observing us live?

As I searched the Scriptures and considered that, here are a few more that stood out to me.

* “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” – Mark 9:23 (NLT)

* And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will happen.” – Matthew 21:21 (NASB)

* “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20 (HCSB)

* If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:2 (NASB)

* But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. – Jude 21-21 (NKJV)

* Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. – Proverbs 3:5 (NKJV)

Parting Words

As I was thinking about faith as a substance, I recalled Jesus’ teaching that faith the size of a mustard seed renders nothing impossible—including the moving of a mountain.

I wondered if the “mustard seed” reference was not just a metaphor, but the actual size of the substance faith that is required to do those things. Either way, I want a Hebrews 12:2 and Hebrews 11:6 and John 14:12 faith!

I’d love to speak a blessing over you:

May you throw off every weight and run the face of faith by keeping your eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects your faith.

May your faith be a substance God provides and uses powerfully, and may it be evidence to the great cloud of witnesses that “All things are possible for the one who believes” (Mark 9:23 NASB).

To your freedom, health, and wholeness,


P.S. Jude 1:20 reads, “you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith” (NLT). One way I do that is by sharing writing with you that builds faith, including my books below.

P.P.S. You can share this email with a friend!
Christian Fiction to Build Your Faith

Remembering: Valley of Artisans – Book 1
Open for Miracles: Valley of Artisans – Book 2
A Winter Wedding in the Valley of Artisans: Valley of Artisans – Book 3
Ordinary Miracles: Valley of Artisans – Book 4

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Christian Nonfiction to Build Your Faith

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Jesus as Healer: Miracles and Meditations in Luke
Stay: Why I’m Still Here, A Spiritual Memoir

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