St. Paul's Lutheran Church

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Scripture: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

Simply put, this passage is saying that faith is the means by which one holds to things he does not see. For example, we should expect temporal things we can neither see nor hear but must only hope for. If we have a family and one day found that we had nothing to give our spouse or children, then faith would be that expectation and hope that God would still sustain us. But if believing amounts to nothing and no help comes for food or clothing, what happens? As an unbelieving fool, I may doubt greatly and start to do whatever I must to make ends meet, even cheat or steal or lie to stay afloat.

This is what it is to live without faith; to live in unbelief. It is the constant grabbing and clutching at things out of self-preservation, the unbridled willingness to defy God’s law for the sake of self-interest or pleasure, the willingness to destroy anything or anyone who stands in our way in order to get things to be our way.

But if we believe, then we close our eyes and we say, “I am Your creature and Your handiwork, Lord God. I will depend upon You because You care more for me and my needs than I could ever care myself. You will indeed nourish, feed, clothe, and help as You alone know best.”

Faith is the sure foundation expecting what cannot be seen. Thus, faith must always be preeminent. Simply put, heaven and earth would have to pass away before God would let His believers lack clothing and food and all the things of life! This is a most comforting promise to consider. Yet what so quickly happens is the serpent comes and brings to life our reasoning and makes us as sinners who see with different eyes. Rather than faith, we say, “It is not possible, not reasonable.” And thus, we go through life, even as people of the faith, always second-guessing God’s Word and promises, even to the day we die.

But God’s Word remains, and He remains gracious. If we continue to look with our eyes, we will ever see what we do not want for only death is at the end of this scene. But by faith, we see and hold to what we do not see and by faith we hope in God’s sure promise that not even death can separate us from Him.

Father in heaven, keep me from trusting in the things of the world, or in my own self, and instead keep me in faith, trusting in Your sure promises, the things that are not seen but are true because You say so. In Jesus’ name, amen.