We talk about Faith a lot at our Bible Studies, because Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” In our discussion of faith we talk about “The Substance of Our Faith”.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence [proof, conviction] of things not seen.”
How can Faith be the substance and evidence of things not seen? We’re going to look at that.
It is appropriate to examine our faith.
We may have faith in our neighbor or friend. They will probably not let us down, but they might under certain circumstances. We might have faith that our car will start in the morning. But in truth that’s more of an expectation or hope, because there are days that we know it won’t. We might have faith in our money and its ability to purchase the things we need or desire. But, my faith in our currency is deflating faster than our currency, which is deflating pretty fast. I have more faith in gold or silver, which is what our currency is supposed to be backed by.
Our faith is relative to that which we are placing our faith in!
In some things or people, I have little faith, and in some things or people, I have no faith. I’ve run across a few people over the years who have worked their way into my “no faith” category. They didn’t start there, but they earned their way there. I want to believe, but history shows that I’d be foolish to believe. I can forgive, but trust and faith are earned. In some things or people, I have great faith. But under certain circumstances there could even be a failure here. I know a few that are as good as gold, but might they, like Peter, find a tipping or failing point? Or might I do the same? So Faith is measured to that which we are placing our faith in.
Familiarity in what or who we are placing our faith in also comes into play.
In some cases, our faith decreases as we come to know the thing or person more clearly. In other cases, our faith increases as the things or people we are placing our faith in pass the test of faith. So our faith can grow or drop as tests are passed or failed. Even gold can fail, in Genesis 47 there was a famine and even the gold and silver failed. The people needed food!
Is there anything or anyone we can fully place our hope in? And not expect failure?
I have found One! The Lord!!! He is the only Being that has my 5 star, 100% rating. No failure guaranteed- for eternity! There is no close second. There is a very large gap between my most trusted man and God, try matching that! I guarantee my construction work until I pack up my tools and leave the job. Free work comes free of guarantee. Okay, I’ll come back, but I’m not near as trustworthy as the Lord is. He doesn’t get paid also!
In my book, God’s rating is such that even those things that He has not proven yet to me, I know where He’ll land. He is the only Absolute Real Deal!!! My question to the skeptic is; How can you place faith in anything or anyone and not place it in God? That is foolish. Truth be known; It’s not because they trust other things, other gods or other people more than God! Our sin, our bitterness or our ignorance cause us to turn from trusting the only One we should trust!
For me, I can and do hang my faith on the Lord, enough so that I’m willing to live under His Authority. In addition, I’ve allowed Him to change the total trajectory of my life, time and focus. All this for a God I cannot even see. Or can I see? Am I a fool or a nut for following this God Who is not seen with the naked eye? Or are they fools for abandoning the obvious Lord of creation Who is “seen” everywhere. Is Faith based upon hopes, dreams and fairy tales or is it based upon facts, truth and reality? For those who don’t believe or “see”, they assume that we must have the same experience, that we must not be able to see also. For those who believe or “see”, God is so evident and real that we find it difficult to believe that they don’t see the obvious right before their eyes.
In saying these things, I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I’m just trying to take an honest look at the issue, and show that there is substance and evidence to our faith. We are not trusting in an unseen God, He is very well seen and I’ll be taking a closer look at this over the next few newsletters. I share this to strengthen your faith, so you might be able to strengthen the faith of others. To be continued.
Blessings, Dave McLean