11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
I'm reading through Hebrews, and I've come to Hebrews 11 in my morning Bible study. Many Christians know this verse especially, but also are familiar with this whole chapter. I wanted to just comment for a moment here:
1. Assurance: this is trust that bears the fruit of action. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and we act as if the hoped for is realized. I believe it was C.S. Lewis who commented that the Christians that have been the most useful in this world were firmly planted in the next world. This assurance leads to action, not to pondering.
2. Things hoped for: not just 'stuff' things, but rather the ideas and concepts of eternity, the 'things' God has promised. It's a generic word in Greek that translates roughly to 'things' without the connotation of 'stuff' from America.
3. Conviction: again, this is a word that shows action should be happening, not just contemplation.
In all, we should take from this not that contemplation is bad, but rather that contemplation should lead to decision, and decision leads to action. Let your faith be shown in what you do as much as what you think or say.