The Bible gives us the answers to both questions. “Faith,” we are told, “is the title deed to things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (author’s translation)
How does a title deed work? Assume for a moment that the owner of a farm offers it to you for sale. You, in turn, like what you have heard and agree to purchase the farm sight unseen at the price specified. You write out a check for the amount specified and the farm owner signs over to you a properly notarized title deed. Your check is the title deed to ownership of a sum of money. The title deed transfers ownership of the farm to you. Assuming no other conditions, the title deed gives you all of the privileges and rights of ownership to the farm. You can live on it; grow crops on it; raise livestock on it; plant trees on it; explore it for minerals; build houses and barns on it; dig a fishing pond on it; rent it to tenants; subdivide it; or sell it in its entirety. By the title deed you have these rights, and yet you, if you so desired, would never have to see the farm or set foot on it. You have the title deed!
Faith is the title deed to the hopes and dreams that God has placed on our hearts. Inside each one of us who know Him is a destiny and all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities that accompany that destiny. Just as the title deed to my hypothetical farm brings a host of wonderful privileges, along with the privileges come responsibilities. The crops have to be tended, the livestock fed and watered, the forest managed, the houses and barns painted and repaired, and the land maintained according to the laws of man and nature governing the eco-system.
Faith brings you the material provision, the healings, the miracles, and the blessings that accompany the ownership of your God ordained destiny. In like manner, it brings you the responsibility to keep the garden of your life free from weeds; to nourish your mind, soul, spirit, and body; and to care diligently for the human beings and material possessions that, over the years, become part of your destiny.
Faith, according to the Bible, is not just a title deed to what we hope for, it is also the “evidence of things not seen.” What does this mean?