Daily Devotion | Day 299
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV).
When you purchase an item online and the transaction is successful, you see a confirmation receipt printed on the screen. They’ll usually tell you to print and keep a copy of your receipt. At times they’ll email your receipt. The receipt is evidence of successful transaction. The rest is just a question of delivery.
In the meantime, because you have the receipt you feel assured. You’re even excited. You can imagine the package being dropped at your door. You can almost smell the freshness of the item you ordered. You can see and feel the item in your hands. The receipt you obtained gives you assurance that the thing you ordered shall be delivered according to your wishes. And indeed, hours or days later there’s the package at your door with your name on it.
We will use the above analogy to illustrate the main point of today’s message:
The Bible says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The past few days, we’ve talked about the effect faith has on our prayer. Today, we’ll delve deeper into the following words of Jesus: “whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, ESV). When Jesus says, “believe that you have received it,” He means have faith that you already possess it. In other words, when you pray for something, it is like making an order. You need to take your receipt with you.
Faith acts like a receipt.
If you’re in possession of the receipt, it means you have evidence that what you requested shall be done according to the details on the receipt. This is why faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Think of the “substance” and the “evidence” as a spiritual/invisible receipt. It is an image or visual in your heart and mind which shows you the result of what you requested.
This receipt assures you that you will have what is indicated on the receipt. Without the receipt/substance/evidence, you’re groping in the dark, simply hoping to get lucky – like in a lottery.
Faith is not blind as some suppose.
Faith has its own pair of eyes. They are the (spiritual) eyes of faith. With these eyes you can see the result of your prayer. And Jesus says, believe that you have received it and you will have it. It means when you pray (and believe) for something, you should ‘see’ yourself in possession of it. This step represents the substance of the thing you hope for and evidence of what is not seen.
Let’s conclude today’s message by looking at the example of the woman who was miraculously healed of 12 years of hemorrhage (Mark 5:21-34). She said to herself, “If I touch even his [Jesus’] garments, I will be made well” (v.28). Notice what happened here. The woman ‘saw’ an image of herself made well before she even touched Jesus. In her spirit, she saw an image of herself healed before it became a physical reality. In other words, she possessed faith: the substance and evidence of what she hope for, and evidence of what she did not see (physically).
Next time you pray for something, take your ‘receipt’ with you and hold on to it. And may the Lord’s word be fulfilled in your life, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
For further study: Hebrews 11:1-30