Many centuries ago the Christian philosopher Anselm of Canterbury wrote,
“For I do not seek to understand so that I may believe; but I believe so that I may understand. For I believe this also, that ‘unless I believe, I shall not understand’ [Isa. 7: 9]. (St. Anselm (1998-09-10). Anselm of Canterbury: The Major Works (Oxford World’s Classics) (p. 87). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.)
Understanding arises from faith and not faith from understanding inasmuch as sight does not require faith. For if faith arises from understanding, there would be no faith, because understanding would swallow it through (in)sight. Yet we have faith for understanding much of what remains unseen. The unseen has substance and evidence, and we do not deny that unseen because we admit its substance and the evidence for it. Science continuously shows us such substance, and we have faith in our scientific instruments to confirm this substance. Yet, some question both the substance and evidence for faith until someone makes a promise to us. That promise contains both substance and evidence. That substance is its fulfillment, and the evidence is that the promise remains unseen until also fulfilled.
God does the same thing for us. He is bold enough to step out of His sphere into ours and make a promise and big enough to bring it to pass. Jesus assumed our status in our humanity, loved us, gave His life for us to deliver us from our nihilistic state. His promise was God’s promise,
“In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, i would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you; and if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself so that where I am you will be, also” (John 14:2-3).
Are we courageous enough to believe that promise from the unseen God inasmuch as we believe the unseen words coming from our spouse or close friend? Trust depends on it. Those who depend on and have faith in their spouses or friends come from different religious and philosophical persuasions. They are Christian, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, and a number of other persuasions. Some say, faith is fake or not required, because they see it as a religious expression. Yet contrary to their own persuasion, they exercise that faith daily with their spouses and friends, for they depend on their word, and trust them to fulfill it. Faith in God is no different. Although He remains unseen, He is relational, and He expands our understanding of trust. While unseen, He calls us to trust His promises. Can this call be any different from trusting out spouse or a friend? It holds as much substance and evidence, for it is tested daily in the crucible of relationships.