“What is faith? Faith apprehends as a real fact what is not revealed to the senses. Faith rests on that fact and is upheld by it in the face of all that seems to contradict it. Faith is real seeing.” (Helene Ashker)
Faith is what prompts us to sit down on a wooden chair, trusting that it will hold us. Faith is writing a check to pay the mortgage and placing it into an envelope with a first class stamp on the outside, trusting it will arrive at the right place and at the right time. Faith is going to a new auto mechanic to fix a rattle in the engine, trusting he is telling the truth and not having you pay for something you don’t need.
I could go on. But every day we walk by faith, we place our trust in things, in promises, and in people. What makes it so difficult to trust in God? Why is it so challenging to trust in the many promises in the Bible? Why do we easily discard our Lord or forget about Him in the midst of life’s challenges and never-ending busyness?
Faith doesn’t make sense, because our senses are not involved. They are ignored. Our senses always jump on the band-wagon of self-reliance, self-preservation and self-righteousness. Our senses demand answers that faith does not adequately provide. No wonder faith necessitates a leap. It requires a surrendering of everything that seems to be safe and secure. And only when faith is received, only then do we see and recognize the real eternal peril that our self had adhered us to. Real faith is real seeing.
In Paul’s first letter to the Christian church in Corinth, he encourages them by saying that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” Living on earth successfully must require an eternal perspective. Like playing a board game, the winner is declared when somebody has successfully completed the game’s objective. What is life’s objective? To win the prize that God offers freely. That prize is to receive the full inheritance of a faithful son or daughter. Riches on earth eventually perish, but the prize God offers will never perish. Faith is answering the question, “So, who do I trust?” Like sitting on a chair, mailing an envelope, or visiting a car mechanic, we ask the same question. From a soul perspective, I have placed my trust in the promises of the Bible. Most notably, by faith I receive all the benefits of what Christ has already done for me. By his death and life, I am fully righteous and acceptable before God my Creator and have been declared a son in the fullest sense.
That’s real faith. That’s real seeing.