The Bible says faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”, according to Hebrews 11:1. Using a chair as an example works for most people. You see the chair, with its four legs, but you have to trust that it will hold you up. This thought process includes a little bit of God, and a little bit of me. It doesn't give God full control, which we usually like. Because you see, you could rely on logic, or physics, or any number of reasoning skills to see that the chair will hold you when you sit. You can even test the chair before sitting down, if you choose. You have that option. I mean, why not test "faith" first to make sure it's real (and sturdy)? But, for some reason, people like to spiritualize the chair’s remarkable ability to provide support, and remind you that you rely on faith every time you take a seat. This is not what scripture teaches! Faith is the conviction of things not seen, not the logical conclusion to what’s right before your eyes. Faith is not always something you can test before you buy. Here’s what I believe faith to be:
You walk into an empty room. No chairs. Then, you hear the still, small voice of the Lord asking you to sit down. You ask, “Where?” He points to an empty space and says, “Right here, in this chair.” This is faith. At this moment you have to believe in something you cannot see. You cannot make logical assumptions based on what is before you. Physics will not help you in this moment. Reasoning skills will not come to your aide. You must, in this moment, rely solely on faith that the Lord will hold you up when you sit. Faith is not the empty chair in front of you, it’s believing there is an empty chair in front of you when you do not see one.
When you find yourself in a hopeless situation and all you have left is a still, small voice in an empty room – rely on faith. When the Lord asks you to believe something that looks impossible – rely on faith. Stepping out into this type of faith is scary and hard at first. We are so used to having something tangible connected to faith. Maybe it’s the testimony of someone else’s difficult situation. Maybe it’s the kind word of a stranger, a random check in the mail, or a Bible verse on a sign. God does use these things! But there may come a time when you find yourself alone in the dark. You may find yourself without the comfort of confirmations from others. You may find yourself needing true faith.
How do you define “faith”? What does it look like in your life? Are you ready to sit in a chair that you can’t see? Of course, these are only my observations… and I’m only passing through.
Copyright © Rachel D. Butler and Only Passing Through. All Rights Reserved.