Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). This scripture (along with the 23rd Psalm, 100th Psalm, Matthew 5:3-11, Matthew 6:9-13 and John 3:16) was one that I learned to recite as a child. But it was not until I reached adulthood that I discovered I was reciting it incorrectly. I was missing a key word in the verse. A tiny three letter word that begins the verse, it is the word “now.”
The dictionary defines now as at the present time or moment.
Often times I view the word faith as indicative of what is to come. But when I add the word now to the beginning of the verse, it takes on a whole new meaning for me.
Now faith gives me the blessed assurance of knowing that I am, not I will. My faith is being activated at this present time for the current situation that I am facing. It reminds me of the faithfulness of God: A very present help in the time of trouble. Even when things do not turn out the way that I’d want them to, I know that God is in control and is working it out for my good. The situation will be handled according to God’s timing.
Now faith allows me to live out the promises of God’s Word in the here and now.
No longer am I living on the hope that tomorrow has to offer, but I am living in the present.
Now faith enables me to call those things that are not as though they are. Although I cannot see the finished product, I know that it is completed. As humans we can only know in part and see in part, but God knows the outcome before we begin. And the Word of God tells us that we are more than conquerors.
Women of the ELCA, we are called to act boldly on our faith through Jesus Christ. So I challenge you to act boldly by stepping out on faith (not fear) and fulfill the purpose for which you’ve been called.
Deborah Powell is associate executive director of Women of the ELCA.