Ep.236: Believing What We Do Not See.

Ep.236: Hebrews 11: Believing What We Don’t See

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.

Hebrews 11, the great faith chapter of the Bible, begins:
  Faith is confidence in what we hope for,
      assurance about what we do not see. . .
    By faith we understand
      that the universe was formed at God’s command
      so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.
        (vv. 1,3).

Talking once to a university student who majored in science, I said, “The Big Bang theory says the universe originated suddenly out of a very small, dense, hot bit of something, in a way the laws of physics can’t explain. I’m not sure it’s all that much different to say, ‘A power called God made it happen.’ Both explanations require faith in something we don’t understand and can’t explain.” 

Or as the author of Hebrews put it,   
   By faith we understand
      that the universe was formed at God’s command
      so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible (Heb 11:3). 

So what is faith? Today, we look at faith that explains what we cannot see or prove. 

The science student felt that since modern science has explained so much, it must be well on the way to explaining everything, eliminating the need for God-explanations. This is faith at work: faith in progress, in the scientific method, in reason and logic. 

Conspiracy theories function in a similar manner. The QAnon theory explains that a cabal of evil white politicians and business leaders control politics, economics, coronavirus vaccines, and the Suez Canal. This too is faith at work, faith that the theory gives deep insight to an enlightened few into the causes and progress of evil. Faith that the rest of us are passive sheeple, lapping up a liberal education and eating ourselves sick at the trough of the liberal left media. 

Like scientists and conspiracy theorists, we all try to make sense of the world and of our own lives. We are all influenced in many ways we do understand. For example:

– Invisible genetic DNA affects health, skills, capabilities, and behavior.

– Society and culture fill our heads with news, Facebook rants, adventure movies, and conspiracy theories. We cannot process everything into a coherent worldview.

– We are influenced by our moods and feelings. Happy or sad, sometimes our emotions make sense.
Sometimes they appear from nowhere. Perhaps the state of our digestion drives more decisions than logic and reason.

– Churches give us their view of what life means and what God wants. But how to find our way through their jungles of conflicting interpretation?

Back in Hebrews: it tells us twice that faith looks into things we cannot see, saying:  Faith is the confidence of what we hope for,
    the assurance of things we do not see.
  By faith we understand
    that the universe was formed at God’s command
    so that what we see was not made from what is visible. 

Let’s pray. 

Our father, as we live the mystery of our faith, we do not see you, but we believe in you. We see the beauty of sunsets, of love, of logical science, of a well-ordered society, of a faith-filled religion. We see the horror of mass shootings, lying politicians, racial injustice, and absurd conspiracy theories. By faith we give you credit for the good in our world, and blame Satan and ourselves for the evil.  

O Lord, you are the focus of our faith. by you we make sense of our crazy world, our disordered lives, our hopes and aspirations. With the poet Whittier we say,
    Yet in the maddening maze of things
      and tossed by storm and flood,
    to one fixed trust my spirit clings,
      I know that [you] are good. (Whittier, John G. The Eternal Goodness. stanza 11). 


I’m Daniel, on the channel “Pray with Me”.