14 Nov 2022

We have noted in the previous sharing that human reasoning and logic can bring us so far, and no further; we need to go on to FAITH in seeking to know God. The Bible also reiterates that the ‘just shall live by faith’.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for” (Hebrews 11:1-2 TNIV)

Note first of all that faith is being sure of what we hope for. In my interaction with many believers, there are many who queried how can they be sure, especially as they experienced the ‘silence’ of God to their prayers and the negative situations and setbacks they had to go through with regard to many areas of their lives (financial, healthwise, relationship problems etc.).

As I meditate on the definition of faith, I find it very helpful to realise that we can be sure of what we hope for, not because of our circumstances or experiences in life (based on our reasoning and logic), but because of who God is. God has spoken; He has promised; He is faithful (as we look at the ‘gallery’ of men and women of faith, particularly in Hebrews 11); He never lies and He is perfect in all His ways (including His grace, mercy and love).
Our sureness is because of who He is, His promises in Scripture, His sacrificial love at the cross, – not because of who we are or what we are going through.
We considered also previously that it is not so much that we know God but that He knows us thoroughly and He loves us, despite our unworthiness, and He decides that no one can snatch us out of His hand. He is unchangeable, transcendent and all powerful – and what He said He would do.

The other portion of the definition – certain of what we do not see. There are lots of things we do not see and yet we are certain of their existence; take ‘love’ – we do not see love, we cannot measure it on a scale, we cannot weigh love, – but certainly we can be certain that love exists as we see the effects and manifestations of love in outworking in life.

The process of observation involves two elements: the human act of seeing and the process of illumination, which allows things to be seen. There are limits to human vision, as we all know, when we try to make our way in a dark room or try to make up the features of a landscape on a moonless night.

As Augustine of Hippo once remarked, “The mind needs to be enlightened by light from outside itself, so that it can participate in truth, as it is not itself the nature of truth.” We need the lamp of God to light out the darkness so that we can see clearly.
God, as the source of all truth, graciously helps humanity to find the truth. Without that help, there are limits to what we can discover and see.

We see in the book of Ecclesiastes the observations of the preacher; the other element of the process of the observation (illumination) is either lacking or missing. Perhaps the book is in the canon to direct us to seek the truth from outside of us, from the God of truth, whose light would illuminate for us what ought to be our pursuit in life on earth.

Our faith in God would enable us to be sure of what we hope for, despite the present circumstances which seem to indicate otherwise, and to be certain of the things we do not see.

Total reality is not just limited to our sense of sight, touch, smell, hearing – it encompasses the spiritual realm which is not seen by our naked eyes but nevertheless, it is there and it is part of the total reality that surrounds us. May God help us to be sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we cannot see, because He has revealed Himself and His ways to us. Praise the Lord God!