Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1
One of my favorite movies growing up was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It was the final of three Indiana Jones movies shot during the '80s. If you’re not familiar with the movie or were born in this new millennium, the film shares Indiana’s quest to find the Holy Grail. To ratchet up the stakes for finding the grail, Indiana's father lies shot in the stomach at the entrance to the temple. Only the power of the grail can heal his father. There are three final tests before he can show himself worthy of receiving the holy relic. In one of the tests, Indiana Jones stands on the side of a cliff and is encouraged to take a leap of faith. Before him is a deep gorge and what seems like a certain death if he takes a step. Indiana labors over the decision, believing it to be impossible. But as his father's condition continues to grow more grave, he puts out his boot into thin air. He takes a deep breath and by faith steps into the unseen. As he is falling forward, his foot finds a mysterious path that was previously unseen. Cue the dramatic music and celebration for the completed test!
We often have a hard time trusting in what is unseen. We are visual people and we tend to live by the phrase “seeing is believing.” To trust in another person or in a concept is often difficult for us when we haven’t seen it for ourselves. Naturally, we are skeptical and skilled at asking questions. But, think about how often we have to rely on the unseen. We have to believe the oxygen we are breathing is clean and safe so we can live, though we can't see it with our eyes. We have to trust that those who cook our food in a restaurant washed their hands before making our meal, even though we didn’t investigate the kitchen. We have to put our faith in the factory worker who assembled the car we drove and the engineer who designed it as we fly down the road over 50 miles per hour. Though we never met, they hold our lives in their hands. Faith is our ability to believe and to hope in what is unseen.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we draw strength from faith. We believe that there is an unseen world around us that is at war - a deadly war between good and evil. Though we don’t see it with our eyes, we do see the effects of this conflict. We see pain and suffering, stress and anxiety, depression, illness, brokenness, and loneliness all around us. We also believe that the only way we can make it through this conflict is with God’s help. At times, it can feel like you are standing at the edge of a deep gorge, trusting in faith alone to secure your path. We must remember the times that God came through and protected us during the storm. This remembrance will reassure you in your quest towards heaven.
We are all naturally skeptical about a lot of different things when it comes to faith. Today we want to encourage you to write out some of your questions that you have about God and faith. When you write them all down, pray that God would begin to help you to have a better understanding and to give you some answers. I had a really skeptical friend who had walked away from the church. He prayed this prayer, and over the next four months, God systematically began to answer his hardest questions. My friend put work and effort into the process, and God carefully removed my friend’s reservations, replacing them with faith.
Read Hebrews 11:1-7 (NLT)
Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.
By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.
It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.
It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.
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