Many attempts have been made to explain faith. Some more successful than others, but every single time I am left with a tragic sense of religious jargon mingled with some esoteric principles. I understand that describing something invisible isn’t something for the faint of heart. After all, faith isn’t tangible. It is not something you can put in a box with a label. Faith is more than a concept; it is more than a simple religious attitude toward a God we cannot see.
Faith is a force that drives people over insurmountable obstacles. Faith drives people to sacrifice their own well-being for something supernatural. Faith can cause a kingdom to fall and another one to rise. Faith can move mountains according to the Gospels. It can heal incurable diseases and even pay taxes through the mouth of a fish.
Yet, this doesn’t explain in plain language what faith looks like, it merely exemplifies its effect.
Suppose an official envelope is hand-delivered to you by a reputable law firm. This is not one of those emails informing you that you are the sole heir of a Nigerian fortune if you only give them your bank account number. We all have received those, and instinctively know they are too good to be true.
No this letter is legitimate. Bemused by this unexpected letter, you hurry through the wax seal to find inside a notarized letter announcing to you that an uncle you didn’t even know existed has left you his entire inheritance. We are talking millions of dollars. So much money that you will never have to worry about your needs and wants for the rest of your life and the lives of your children. Still in disbelief, you call the law firm to make sure there isn’t some kind of scam going on. After all, this is obviously too good to be true. The attorney assures you that indeed the will that was delivered to you is legitimate. All you have to do is come to the attorney’s office to pick up your check before the end of the day.
Both examples are similar in nature. Both will give you a huge amount of money. Yet, the former triggered unbelief while the latter gave you the assurance that it was real, even though you still haven’t gotten the money in your hands.
Suppose now that your friend comes to you, and after hearing the wonderful news tries to persuade you that you are being scammed. Despite his argument, you are not wavering in unbelief. Doubts can’t survive in your mind because of the official nature of the document attesting of its veracity. Nothing can make you give in now. All you have to do is show up at the law firm to retrieve your check. You have been given a promise, and nothing will stop you. Even if your tires get flat, your engine blows up, you have to walk 10 miles and your feet are bleeding from the hot pavement. You will not stop at any cost with your letter in hand. No dogs, no bears, no rain or any other crazy thing will slow you down. You have the proof. It is true. You are now experiencing a force that is beyond human reason. It is giving you vision beyond the natural. You could move mountains. It is changing you as you run towards what has been promised to you. You are unstoppable.
This strength, the resolve you would experience if this story was true is the best definition of faith.
Hebrews 11:1 (Amp) puts it this way: Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
The promises God has given us are always true and have been sealed with the blood of an innocent who came back from the dead and is now pleading on our behalf. There is no reason to waver and question His intentions toward us.
II Corinthians 1:20-22 (MSG). Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.
Whatever the Lord has promised you it is a sure thing. All you have to do is trust in the document and make your way to the attorney’s office to retrieve it. You may encounter obstacles and contrary winds trying to keep you from your destiny, but it doesn’t make the promise less true. They actually confirm that the prince of the air is doing everything he can to prevent you from your promise.