Faith is NOT positive thinking (What is faith Pt 1) Heb 11:1


This is a two-part series

Faith in Christ Jesus is not positive thinking. Positive thinking is not faith.

What is faith and why is it important to Christians?

NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. – Heb 11:1

“FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for” these words can be interpretted one way and another. In this post I want to highlight how NOT to interpret these words. I hope to explain what “conviction of their reality” we should have.

In that passage we are encouraged to

  • be convinced it is real
  • have assurance of the thing we hope for
  • consider the proof of the things we do not see

What is this THING? What is it we are to assume is REAL? That is the key… it’s a THING that we are to consider  real.

In the ESV the word “faith” occurs 27 times in the OT and 230 times in the NT… and considering that the OT is much much longer than  the NT with far more books and stories… how can this be?

Because the OT is focussed on being right with God through laws. But in the NT we are made right with God through the cross and blood of Jesus Christ. So that is why in ten times fewer pages, the word faith is mentioned ten times more.

We are to have faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Do not confuse faith with positive thinking

This is positive thinking: I am getting better every day in every way.

This is faith: when Jesus Christ died on the cross 2000 years ago, my sin was paid for and He took all the consequences of sin to His cross.

Can you see the difference? In the first one I am hoping in hope itself. It’s just positive thinking and even if it has very big improvements in my life, it doesn’t set me free from my sin and from the consequences of my sin and the sins done to me etc.

The first is positive thinking, the second is me focussing my faith on Jesus Christ as my Saviour and redeemer. The difference is that faith is focussed on a FACT. Positive thinking is occult because it is trying to conjure up something that is not there.

How does faith work? 

Imagine 3 people. Experience, faith and fact. If faith keeps his eyes on fact then experience will follow faith.

When faith focusses on a fact (Jesus’ death abolishes sin and sets it aside) then the experience of that truth follows that faith.

BUT. If your positive thinking focusses on something you want to make a fact, it may indeed materialize… but you are deep in error.

Experience follows faith, so make your faith follow the facts as presented by what Jesus Christ did on the cross 2000 years ago.

May I recommend you read the second part of this post Why we DON’T get the promises (What is faith Pt 2)

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3 responses to “Faith is NOT positive thinking (What is faith Pt 1) Heb 11:1

  1. First of all ithink u have contradicted yurself about the two subjects faith is things hope for evidence not seen u said positive is only hope on itself and how can both not be appied here both cannot be without by faith noah was moved by building an ark the ark would be build to save everyone that believed how do u think noahs family felt thought at the mention of what the lord told him to do full of exitement they felt good because 6od was going to save them from jugement that would come upon the earth book genisis also in 1thess 4.15,18 wherefore comfort one another with these words also the bible is full positive words of wisdom bible encurages us to build uplift us not words that would tear us down prob: as a man tinketh so is he also paul instructs us to think on these things philippians 4.8,9 whatsoever is true just honest pure goodreport if there is any virtue think on these things those things which ye have both learned and recieved and heard and seen in me do and the 6od of peace will be with u

    • Thanks for sharing your view. Perhaps I can clarify it like this. Because of faith NOAH DID. Reinhard Bonnke likes to say that faith is not what you think but what you DO. Hebrews 11 is all about what people DID. On the other hand hope is about what you hope for… meaning, what you expect. So hope is in your head, it’s about your positive thoughts about the future. Hope is optimism of the future. So thats why I think faith and hope are connected but should be viewed as different. I “hope” that clarifies things?

  2. Thank you for the meat Mark. I just finished reading your post on 1 & 2 John and it’s speaking life into a current situation. Thank you for taking a stand, and sharing the truth you’ve come to know.

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