It is easy to turn faith into something that it is not. We yearn for spiritual experiences to give us comfort such as God speaking to us through dreams, visions, and revelations. They tend to make God more real to us than what we cannot see. When we read the Bible, stories stand out to us of Jesus healing the sick. If we are sick, we want to be healed. We read of an angel coming to Jacob and wrestling with him. More angels appear to shepherds at Jesus’ birth. These stories stir us emotionally, and we cast ourselves on them for assurance that God works.
Then we encounter passages in the Bible that speak of the unseen. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews informs us about numerous people who walked by faith in the unseen. He begins,
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).
He goes on to identify how those mentioned walked by the unseen. One stunning point he makes if the very next verse,
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (1:3).
Atheists would not agree with this statement. They would say that their understanding of the existence of the universe is the Big Bang. However, the Bible states that for us to grasp creation as from God takes faith. The visible creation did not arise from what is seen but rather from the unseen God. Then there is the list of those who looked at the unseen promises of God’s word. They trusted what God said and went forward in their lives living by it, some even losing their life over such faith. Faith in the unseen focuses on eternal things of God while the seen focuses on the temporal order (2 Corinthians 4:16-17). We grow in faith in God and gain assurance and comfort from Him with this kind of faith rather with the faith that relies on the seen things of the universe. Paul faced the same struggles, and even greater ones than we, but he wrote the Corinthians that in his struggles his greatest comfort came from trusting in the unseen promises of God’s word.
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