How Faith Works

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September 4, 2022

Pastor Daniel Kolenda

‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.’ – Hebrews 11:1-2

The definition of faith is entirely counterintuitive to the natural mind. Unbelievers have claimed that it is belief without evidence but the author of Hebrews defines faith with two critical words: substance and evidence.

Instead of describing faith as ethereal as the world does, he says it is substantive, concrete, tangible, and real. Instead of seeing faith as belief without evidence, the author says faith itself is evidence.

As people of God, we have to stop receiving the world’s definition of faith and start receiving the world’s definition of faith.


When people say they have faith in God, they believe that God exists. But that’s not what faith is. The Bible says that even demons believe and they tremble but that’s not faith. Biblical faith is trust.

Faith at its heart is trust. It’s a type of faith that throws one’s entire life into the hands of Christ.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Does this mean that if you believe that Jesus exists and died on the cross you’ll have everlasting life? Whosoever rests in Jesus, shall not perish but will have everlasting life. This is what it means to believe. You are not just believing that something is true but it means to cast one’s entire life upon it.

In the world, seeing is believing, but in the kingdom, it’s the opposite way. Believing is seeing.

Faith is not an abstract belief in some abstract ethereal thing. Faith is trust in your Father who has been good and faithful to you. He has proven Himself over and over to you. And when He makes a promise, you can take it to the bank.


Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” When you hear the word of God, you believe the word of God because you trust the God of the word. You need all these components or faith doesn’t work. That’s the formula.

You don’t believe it because someone said it, you believe it because God said it. And you trust it because you trust God and if God said it, then you know that it’s true.

When you receive a check, you aren’t receiving actual money. The thing that you hope for is not actually there because what is hoped for is the money that you get in exchange. So what is the check? It’s a physical promise of something hoped for. It’s the evidence of something not seen. So when you receive the check, you have the substance of what you hope for and the evidence of what you do not yet see.

There is still a step that has to be taken before you can get what has been promised. You have to take that check to the bank and cash it in. Then you get what was promised. And this is how faith works. God makes you a promise, you believe that promise, and that becomes substance and evidence. That’s faith.

how faith works daniel kolenda


Let’s examine the life of David. He is a shepherd boy and he has a promise from God. it states that the same God that delivered the lion into David’s hand, and the bear into David’s hand, will deliver the Philistine into David’s hand. It’s a promise that has heart, but it will only be fulfilled when he steps out into the field of battle and puts his life on the line to face the giant.

As David steps out, the promise that He has from the Lord turns into a slingshot with a stone that hits the giant and causes him to fall. David cashes in his check of faith and in return he gets the head of a decapitated Philistine.

Moses led the children of Israel as they were trying to escape from Egypt but Pharaoh’s army pursued them. They are caught between a proverbial rock and a hard place; on one side is the Red Sea and on the other side is Pharaoh’s army. God commands Moses to stop crying and commands the people to go forward.

So now Moses has a check that says to go forward. It’s a promise, but Moses has to step out. The check becomes a staff in his hand and as he holds it over the waters, the wind begins to blow and the seas begin to part. Moses cashes in the check of his faith in return for the deliverance of freedom for an entire race.

Despite the edict issued by the king, Daniel prayed to God every day. He defied the king’s order because he believed in God’s promise. But the thing is, before you can see the fulfillment of the promise, the process of cashing in the promise of God often requires you to step into places that you don’t know and to sometimes risk everything in the process.

Hebrews 11:2 says, “For by it the people of old received their commendation.” They received a good testimony because of their faith, but they also won the approval of God because of their faith. Their faith pleased God to such an extent that it was counted to them as righteousness itself.


How are you cashing in the promises of God? For some, maybe you need to spend the rest of your life cashing the promises of faith.

What check do you need to cash by faith right now? Maybe it’s a check that is calling you to not worry and believe. The Lord will bring you out of every affliction.

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