Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that
the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen
were not made of things which do appear.
Looking at the picture above you can well understand what the word perception can entail. In moving one’s eyes from left to right, the whole picture changes. Moving eyes back again to the left you notice how gradual the change was. Where the picture changes from one view to the other is almost seamless. You can only see the significant difference on each side of the picture. The in-between or the middle is almost imperceptible without taking notice.
A thought came to me this morning after praying these past several days about the event that took place in the last post. From the first day, I struggled with overwhelming fear, which I knew immediately was the enemy. The fear stemmed from events of my past. Abandonment, disorientation, lack of understanding, an uncertainty of the future. All of these feelings are universal in any distressing occurrence that takes you by surprise. We are shocked, then we are confused and questioning, then we grieve or become angry.
Ask anyone who has learned that a loved one has died suddenly, or someone you cared about has fallen into immorality, maybe you learn that one of your children is addicted to drugs or alcohol or your mate has walked away from the vows that they took with you in front of God and family. There are much more examples but in almost all cases you go through a similar process. How is it that each one of us can relate to this? Each human being put on earth has the ability to feel all of those emotions and more. Why? Why did God program these emotions into our bodies? What use are they? How do we cope when they overcome us to the point of shutting us down? Incapacitating at times. How do we get through it and remain to stand?
I do not claim to have “the answers” but I do claim to know the One who does. His Word gives us so many answers but often we ask but don’t seek them out. Which brings me to the thought I had this morning….I had seen the picture above years ago and when I saw it again, this thought kind of rolled around in my head for quite some time but it was not until this week that God inspired me to write it down. It has to do with “Faith” and why we so often talk about it but we do not apprehend it or grab hold of it.
To have faith in God is to believe in Him even though we can not see Him physically with our eyes. To have faith in His Word is to not only believe in its truth but to walk in it and apply it. To have faith is to simply believe God and take Him at His Word. How do we get to this kind of faith in God? We have to know Him! His character, His nature, His will and His love. Take the subject of emotions I touched on before….if I have faith in God, have faith in His Word and I apply that faith then those emotions will not overcome me, they will not shut me down and they will not incapacitate me. Instead my faith will strengthen me, it will stir me to draw closer to Him and it will give me what I need to remain standing. I found this line in a commentary I read on the great chapter of faith in the New Testament, Hebrews 11.
“Faith proves to the mind, the reality of things that cannot be seen by the bodily eye. It is a full approval of all God has revealed, as holy, just, and good. This view of faith is explained by many examples of persons in former times, who obtained a good report, or an honourable character in the word of God. Faith was the principle of their holy obedience, remarkable services, and patient sufferings.” (Taken from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on Hebrews 11)
Depending are where you are in your faith is how you will view or interpret that distressing occurrence that comes into your life suddenly. You will go through the emotions and the feelings but just as the picture changes moving eyes one way or another so does your perception of the circumstance. If our faith is small we will see a wall in front of us…no way around, over or through…as the left side of the picture might represent. If our faith is huge, then we will be as the ship on right, boldly forging ahead without any obstacles to keep us from trusting God with all that is ahead. It is not just hoping, but knowing that Jesus, our Lord, is in the boat and will calm the storm with one Word.
How do we get huge faith? The picture also may have an answer to that. Time and distance, gradually growing in Him. Look back from where you are in your walk with Jesus and take notice of the gradual, almost seamless, changes in your life. He begins to build our faith from the moment we ask Him to be Lord of our lives. Every storm, every trial and every blessing comes through Him, teaching us something about Him. Stopping to take notice of what He has done in your life will not only prove to you that He is who He says He is but will give you the confidence to stand in your faith and face whatever is before you!
with much faith I pray much grace to you….