Read: Hebrews 11:1-12:2

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (12:1)

The last three virtues (faith, hope, and love) are called the theological virtues because they are gifts of God that cannot be attained apart from grace. Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the “author and perfecter of our faith.” Faith isn’t something we generate on our own; it is the product of a relationship with Christ, a relationship that he initiates.

The most famous definition of faith comes from Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is betting your life on the promises of God’s Word. This does not mean that we wake up every morning feeling faithful. Faith isn’t really a feeling; I can’t make myself feel faithful any more than I can make myself feel truthful. Honesty is the product of the habit of truth-telling. Faith is the product of living faithfully.

Hebrews 11 lists the heroes of the Old Testament who died before ever seeing Christ. They endured hardship, persecution, and even death, living their lives in the expectation that God would fulfill his promise and send the Messiah. The author doesn’t give us descriptions of the inner lives of these saints—their doubts, their dark nights of the soul. Instead, he describes what they did; their actions reveal their faith. —Jane Olson

As you pray, ask God to give you the endurance to live a life of faith.

About the Author

Jane Olson is a college counselor and high school teacher. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and children.