The Bible describes faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” That’s the quintessential definition that Christians rely on to describe their faith in God.
A person’s faith is an invaluable commodity, produced-one would think-by some evidentiary experience. The last couple of years in America, I’ve been paying attention to this thing called faith, and how folks are willing to expend it on the flimsiest of foundations in hopes of changing their destiny. Of course, the political arena probably comes to mind when I mention the last couple of years. I’ll not take any party position here, because that’s not my purpose for this piece.
It’s curious how people will allow someone they don’t have a personal relationship with to generate faith deep within them and to act on that faith with no more than promises; promises with no past evidence of the promisor carrying through on anything. The promisor generates faith within the individual and oftentimes uses that faith to his own advantage, rather than the benefit of the individual who’s looking toward them for something better. I believe that’s called manipulation?
When I look at the Biblical definition of faith, I must turn it around to see how it works for me personally. First the evidence of things not seen is referring to the future. Sure, I’ve not yet seen what I’m praying for, hoping for, longing for; however, there is a record of past performance that shows God comes through on His promises. The longer I live, the more I see that principle of “coming through on His promises” is more than a character trait for Him, it is Him. He literally cannot help but do what He says He’s going to do. Second, when I see irrefutable evidence that He’s followed through on promise after promise in the past, I see the very essence, the core substance of His being telling me that He will honor me with blessings. The blessings may not be what I want, but they will be good for me, and they’ll fill my need gap.
From my experience with God, I can say with clarity that no one can generate faith within me that is nurtured to the degree He can. I try to practice all the good stuff; God is all the good stuff, all the time!
I’m old and blessed (by God) …hope you’ll see He can bless you too.