The bible defines faith this way:
“To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1 GNT)
The words “sure” and “certain” imply a strength of belief and a confidence that the object of our hope is real and that whatever we put our faith in will most certainly come to pass.
But in this statement there is a forward leaning, as if our faith is focused on a distant thing, rather than a daily experience.
Really, it is both – and more. Faith is the lens through which we view the past, the future, and the present. This can be more clearly understood by reading the entire chapter of Hebrews 11.
But many people, including Christians, struggle to experience the fullness of faith in “the now.” We know that through Jesus we have been promised eternal life, but it is the abundant life of now that eludes us.
“I have come that you might have life – and have it to the full!” (John 10:10)
The Scriptures say,
“It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (Romans 1:16)
How do we experience this?
Watchman Nee, in his book, “The Normal Christian Life” illustrates this concept of the reality of faith, by using the analogy of our physical senses.
Through our senses of sight and hearing, for example, we might experience the wonders of light and sound all around us. We see the blue sky and the green grass. We admire the red flower. These colors are real to us. However, if I close my eyes, those colors no longer are real to my experience. The color is real and true and exists, but not to me.
If I am deaf and cannot hear music being played, that doesn’t mean that the music doesn’t exist – it just isn’t real to me – to my experience. Others, who can hear, are clearly enjoying the music which is very real to them.
Like our physical senses of taste, touch, sight, hearing, and smell; faith is the “spiritual sense” of our divine experience – making the promises and truth and life of Christ become real to me. Divine things cannot be directly experienced with the natural senses. Divine things are experienced (made real to us) through faith. (1 Cor. 2:14)
We must believe in order to experience God.
Without faith, I simply do not see God, although I am surrounded by the evidence of his presence in creation – especially in people’s lives. Clearly, others around me are happily experiencing the joys and the beauty of the Lord. For them, faith is alive and at work in them and assuring them that what they believe is true and certain. This gives them hope for today and for tomorrow.
Only by being willing to believe, may I step into this rich experience:
- to see the creative beauty and power of God in the natural world (Romans 1:20)
- to taste of the Lord’s goodness and the sweetness of his word (Psalm 34:8, 119:103)
- to hear the voice of the Spirit of God as He makes truth come alive in my heart (John 16:13; 10:27)
- to feel the touch of Jesus, filled with compassion, healing, and hope
- to feel the fullness of joy in God’s presence (Psalm 16:11)
- to smell the sweet fragrance of Christ’s presence (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)
This faith journey of discovery is filled with incredible beauty and wonder, which can only be experienced through a changed perspective.
It is the work of the Spirit of God who makes our spiritual senses come alive to the vibrant colors of faith and truth.
If you are not taking this journey, but would like to, then hear the invitation of Jesus in these words:
“Look! I am standing at the door (of your heart) and knocking. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you (restore you), and you with me.” Rev. 3:20
Accept the Invitation with this prayer:
Lord God, I would like to know you. I would like to experience fullness of life through Jesus Christ. Please open the eyes of my heart to see and believe and experience your love and your goodness. Amen