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HARRY ABRAMS — Faith is the substance of the things hoped for

The letter to the Hebrews is a rich part of the New Testament. In a unique fashion the letter exalts the person and the works of Jesus Christ.

This letter was known by Clement of Rome and quoted by him. No one knows who wrote this letter. This question remains unsolved. It is believed during the times of Pantaenus who died in A.D. 190 that in Alexandria the letter resembled Paul’s style.

Clement of Alexandria thought Paul had written it in the Hebrew language and Luke translated it into Greek.

Neither is the identity of the first readers of Hebrews known. They were evidently a part of a particular community. The readers had a definite history and the writer referred to their earlier days (Hebrews 10:32-34).

This writer, whoever he or she is, knew the audience history as well as their present generosity to other Christians.

As a Christian, the only appropriate way to respond to the difficulties of life is by FAITH. It is faith that underlies the experiences of the heroes of the Old Testament. It is FAITH that brought you through the hurricanes of Southeast Texas, Southwest Louisiana and other regions of the nation and world where you are currently residing.

It is FAITH which is causing you to cope with the immense racial hatred in our local communities, state, nation and yes even around the world. It is FAITH which sustains you and holds you up when you feel like collapsing amid so much death due to COVID-19.

It is no wonder why this writer wrote in this brief prologue three fundamental considerations about FAITH: the basic nature of faith, the honor that is associated with faith and the way of seeing things.

Talk to anyone who has been through a storm and their homes are still uninhabitable and they have a different way of looking at things, due to their FAITH in GOD.

Faith is being sure about God and knowing even though it seems like I am not going to make it through this situation, “I KNOW” God will bring me through because He has brought me through before.

Even if this is my first crisis and I cannot recall Him bringing me through a crisis, this FAITH will cause me to know, without a doubt that God will bring me through. I am sure and certain that God will bring me through because He has proved to us repeatedly and convinced us of the unseen hopes and realities that he will deliver us through distress.

The ancients were honored for their faith. Believers today see the universe for what it is — a Creation by God. So, whatever happens, the believer knows his or her faith in God will sustain them.

Faith is derived from the Greek word (pistis) which means, I am persuaded. It generally implies such a knowledge of and confidence in certain divine truths, especially the gospel, it produces good works. Therefore, I am persuaded that it does not matter what I have been through or currently experiencing, my FAITH in God will bring me through.

This faith is the substance of things hoped for. The Greek word for substance is (Hupostasis). It means something stands under you. In general, something which is standing beneath you provides a solid foundation to know without a doubt that whatever you are hoping for, you already have it because of your FAITH in God.

The Rev. Harry Abrams writes about faith for The Port Arthur News. He can be reached at harrybramsjr@gmail.com.