This gift called faith
May 5, 2018
Hebrews 11: 1 ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for. The evidence of things not seen’
Hebrews 11: 6 ‘But without faith it is impossible to please him…’
Hebrews 12: 2 ‘Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…’
As a professional whose work constantly examines evidence, I have thought often and hard about this biblical phenomenon described as ‘evidence of things not seen’. Imagine taking the oath as a witness in court. When asked about a relevant issue, you claim you have evidence. Then the proof is demanded. Your answer is that the evidence you have cannot be seen by others. What uproar and commotion this can cause!
But God applauds this position. Hebrews 11:6 says, ‘ But without faith, it is impossible to please God…’. Hebrews 11 is described as the ‘hall of faith’. A chapter specially dedicated to God’s affirmation of beautiful people who exercised faith, took phenomenal risks and broke glass ceilings, and pleased God. A life of faith is a life of active imagination, pulsating creativity, and vibrant optimism. So while turning up in court claiming you have evidence that no one else can see may not be appreciated, let us press on into Jesus by having faith – ‘the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’. Faith is living with vision. And it is vision that gets translated into substance. By the time faith finishes its work, your hopes are realized. You have ‘the substance of things hoped for’. Isn’t that heart warming?
There is also another treasure hidden in plain sight within these scriptures on faith. It is in Hebrews 12:2 – ‘Looking onto Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith’. There is an author of this gift of God, this phenomenon, this priceless gift called faith! His name is Jesus. He showed how it is done by coming to earth through a virgin birth, living among men with a litany of mind blowing miracles, fulfilling prophecies declared over centuries, dying, resurrecting and ascending on high to live forever more – an eternal life He invites us to – through faith in Him. Everything about Jesus needs faith to understand, appreciate, accept and identify with. As you contemplate His gospels, faith in God is built up in you to get your own walk of faith done.
There is more. The psalmist had earlier said in Psalm 139:16 ’…All the days ordained for me were written in your book, before one of them came to be’. This is how the author was at work before your birth. Writing the script and songs of your life. He is the one who has written out this dream that I hope for so strongly and see so deep within myself. Unique to me, but indecipherable to others. And not only has He authored this gift dream adventure that I will spend my life pursuing (if I walk with Him), He also oversaw the knitting of my inmost being to make sure I am equipped to achieve it. He is the perfector of the dream. As the creator of all things, there is nothing about me that is wrong. I was born into the right family, I am the right skin color, right gender, and I have the right temperament. I am fearfully and wonderfully designed and made. What an adventure my pursuit of faith is, as I walk with Jesus. There can be no stronger affirmation of your identity than this. It is liberating, allowing you to be authentic.
So, go on, pursue your dreams. What can you see, that others cannot? What are you hoping for, and don’t have yet, but can pursue, because you see its shape deep within you? Do not be intimidated that no one sees that special project. Just listen closely to the guiding hand of the consummate author of the Word. His word to you is laced through His Bible. Deploy the leadership principles taught in Genesis Chapter 1 to arrive at the fulfillment of your dreams. You were made just for this purpose!
Ephesians 2:10 ‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them’