“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.“ (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)
I was encouraged reading this chapter of Hebrews today as the author commends a great list of people for their faith. Each one trusted God, trusted God’s character, trusted God’s provision…and acted on it. Able offered a sacrifice, Noah built a boat, Abraham left his home, etc.
What separated them from others – what made this thing “faith” – is the fact that we serve an invisible God. They acted in certainty, even though they couldn’t see.
When we read their stories, we’re moved. As a third party viewing from the outside, we think about how difficult the act of faith must have been. No doubt they were…but it probably wasn’t as hard as we think. Let me explain.
Bobby Green is real. He was a childhood friend and we did everything together back in the day. So occasionally I tell my wife and kids Bobby Green stories. Here’s the problem. At some point in one of my stories, someone suggested that maybe Bobby Green wasn’t real: Maybe he was make-believe or maybe just a fictional story-telling gimmick. The second problem was that I couldn’t prove he was real. I lost contact with him in elementary school. I can’t find him on the internet or social media. Third problem: I reached out to a mutual friend…told her my dilemma, and she thought it would be funny to say she never heard of him. She later recanted, but the damage had been done. To my wife and kids, Bobby Green is fake.
For them, Bobby Green is a leap of faith. For me, it’s easy. I knew him. We rode bikes all over town. We did everything together.
Back in Hebrews 11 we see Abraham leave his homeland. I think that is a tremendous, difficult thing to do. But it just means that I don’t know God like he did.
If we want to see our faith increase, it is not that hard. The trick is getting to know God better, digging deeper, obeying more. Open up and let Him in. Then, when he is really known by you…not being able to see him won’t matter so much.