Saturday Sermon: You don't have to see him to know he is there
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
- Hebrews 11:1
Now, that is the classic definition of faith, but what does it mean today in this culture that is taught not to trust anything that can't be seen?
The story is told of a little girl who climbed onto the main floor of a house under construction and walking around, came to the black gaping hole of what would be the stairwell, eventually. Suddenly, out of the dark basement below, she heard her father call up to her, telling her to jump, and he would catch her. She could not see her father because it was so bright where she was and so dark where he was from her perspective.
The father could see just fine from his. He could see her concern and fear. He kept calling to her. And because she recognized her father's voice, and trusted him, she jumped. This is unusual for sure. For under such circumstances, one's characteristic feelings will be panic, helplessness and even loss of control. But what was displayed here is the essence of faith - acting without seeing. And we also see another aspect of faith even more important than not seeing - acting without knowing anything but the sound of the father's voice.
Seeing does not always lead to believing, but believing always leads to seeing.
Considering the first part of that statement, we know that we have often found ourselves looking at something and staring in disbelief that such an event has happened.
Like staring at the Twin Towers on 9/11 ... We couldn't believe what we were seeing. Times such as these test the very souls of men. Or we hear the words of someone we have trusted telling us something that breaks our hearts. We see them and hear them, but we can't believe them, for we know other things may be going on in their life affecting their judgment and words at this time.
So, the concept of "seeing is believing" is not always true.
But for those who claim faith in Christ Jesus, believing always leads to seeing. For God our father reveals to us all that is necessary for us to grow and mature into the life he has called us to.
Just like the little girl who heard her father's voice and jumped, she didn't have to "see" him to know he was there. Hearing his voice enabled her to see what she couldn't physically comprehend. Trusting in that voice was enough to enable her to jump because she needed to be where her father was. Her desire to be with her father superseded the fear of what she couldn't physically see.
This is faith, acting at the trustworthy voice of our father, who is unseen, but always there.
Mike Singenstreu if the pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, PCA.