“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Today’s portion of Scripture is so profound, so filled with meaning, it could easily be the subject of a thousand scholarly articles. For today let us just focus on the phrase, “the evidence of things not seen.” In those few words we have a gentle reminder that there are things in our experience that reveal the existence of unseen realities. The fluttering leaves on a tree, for instance, reveal the presence of the invisible wind. A tender touch, a listening ear, a kind word all reveal the presence of love, which is another unseen reality. In the present dispensation and on this side of heaven, God remains invisible to us. Nevertheless, we observe things that reveal His existence and immediate presence in the world. Moment by moment, our limited and dependent universe holds together and continues to exist. Not only so, but natural processes continue to unfold in a uniform way. The sun rises and sets at predictable times, eclipses occur on schedule, objects dropped from our hands continue to fall downwards, etc. The examples of regularity in the created order are endless. “When ye see a cloud rise out of the west,” said Jesus, “straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass” (Luke 12:54-55, cf. Matthew 16:1-3). The visible continued existence of the universe and the observed law-like regularity within it both cry out for explanation. The Bible provides the answer. Jesus Christ is not only the Creator of the cosmos (John 1:3, Colossians 1:15-16, Hebrews 1:1-3), He is the Upholder and Sustainer of it as well. “He is before all things,” wrote the great apostle Paul, “and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17). The writer to the Hebrews explained that, moment by moment, it is Christ who is “upholding all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). God also explains and accounts for the uniformity, the regularity we see and expect to see in the created order. God declared to the post-flood world: “While the earth remains, seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). The visible continued existence of the universe and the observed law-like regularity within it both reveal the invisible presence of a loving and dependable God. We know, however, that faith in the unseen will one day give way to sight. John stated with confidence that “when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). May our experiences today reveal our loving God to us, in new and spectacular ways.
God bless you,