Faith

Scientists tell us that the earth is spinning on its axis at a speed of over 1000 miles per hour at this very moment. Yet we have no sensation of motion. At the same time, the earth is rotating around the sun at a speed of 66,000 miles per hour. Do you feel anything? The earth is moving at an incredible speed but we do not perceive it. Einstein made this point by striking two consecutive blows with his fist and saying, “Between those two strokes, we traveled thirty miles.” Incredible motion with no perception! Yet we accept by faith that it is nevertheless true. Faith is the power to understand those things which are not perceived by worldly senses. Of course, the big problem for most of us is that we tend to base everything on what our five senses tell us. And since the spiritual world is not subject to any of those senses, our faith is often weak and impotent.

The eye of faith, however, perceives the unseen reality. A.W. Tozer was right when he said that “a spiritual world lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. We can only perceive the spiritual world that surrounds us with the eyes of faith.

Hope is the fuel of that faith. We cannot have faith without hope. Hope in a transformed existence. Hope in what lies ahead. Hope empowers faith so that it doesn’t become tired. It feeds faith to the final destination, so that it doesn’t fail half way there, or even at the starting point. Hope invigorates faith again and again with perseverance.

Faith is like a muscle. A muscle has to be repeatedly stretched to its limit of endurance in order to build more strength. Without increased stress in training, the muscle will simply not grow. In the same way, faith must be repeatedly tested to the limit of its endurance in order to expand and develop. Very often, we must go through trying experiences in order to develop our “faith muscle.”

Faith is only as good as the object of that faith. The story is told of a small boy in England who was asked by a scientist to allow himself to be lowered down the side of a cliff by a rope in order to recover some important specimens. “We will pay a lot of money,” said the scientist. But the boy replied that he wasn’t interested. The scientist was persistent, however, and finally persuaded the boy to do it. But only on one condition: that his father would be the one to hold the ropes by which he would be lowered. He felt safe going down the side of the cliff because the object of his faith was his own father who had never let him down.

Finally, faith must be tied to truth. As A.W. Tozer put it “I do not recall another period when “faith” was as popular as it is today. If only we believe hard enough we’ll make it somehow. So goes the popular chant. What you believe is not important. Only believe… What is overlooked in all this is that faith is good only when it engages truth; when it is made to rest upon falsehood it can and often does lead to tragedy.

It is not enough that we believe; we must believe the right thing.