"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." -Hebrews 11:1
I always think this is a strange word. It's almost like you have to have it to understand it. It's all or nothing. You can't stand on top of a bridge with a bungee chord around your legs and say "I'm going to jump off this bridge to see if I have faith that this chord will hold me and not break." No, you jump because you have faith, already, that it will hold you. Otherwise you would not jump. Maybe you would wait, staring down at the ground below you and ask a few more questions about the trustworthiness of that chord.
If we take this verse and apply it to the bungee diving metaphor then to have faith would be the jumping out into this life of ours with the assurance that the bungee chord or the things we hope for are worth trusting in, that they are trustworthy.
The jumping is the proof that we know we will be caught by the bungee
The faith is the evidence that we know we will see what we hope for realized.
Bob Utley says in his book "The Superiority of the New Covenant: Hebrews, "Physical reality is known by the five senses, and is not eternal, but fleeting. True, eternal reality is unseen and; therefore, must be held by faith, not sight. However, it is so real and true to believers that it controls and demands their priorities."
Wow! Could I say every second of my day and every one of my priorities are controlled by what I believe about eternal reality? I'm distraught to say, no, I don't. I can think of a number of times that I have lashed out with harsh words towards someone, or held back from telling someone about Jesus, or told what could be considered a "white" lie just because I was living in the present reality and letting my emotions of right now control my priorities. How many times have I proven my lack of faith because I was more concerned with the things of right now that I can see/taste/touch/hear?
Lashing out? Faith would have had me bite my tongue because I would have the assurance that God is the judge and I don't need to defend myself, therefore not being controlled by anger.
Holding back from telling someone about Jesus? Faith would have me speak boldly and confidently about my Savior instead of me being controlled by embarrassment or fear of rejection.
Telling a lie? Faith would have me speak the truth despite the inconvenience I think it might cause.
Through each of the acts of faith I would be proving what I believe. So how do I strengthen my faith? How do I keep from slipping and living my life without it?
Romans 10:17 says: "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."
It is simple. I need to hear. I need to read. I need to take in and chew on and digest the word of Christ till it comes seeping out of every pore as the fragrance of faith.
Lord, help me to know You and Your word. Draw me constantly to You, to hear from You so that it will be faith in You that is the only evidence being shown in my life. Help me to jump...
(This is my newest blog in a weekly series where I share my thoughts behind some of my favorite scriptures out of the bible. If you want to see why I've started this weekly undertaking you can go back and read my blog called "Pirates And Their Knots...")