Faith, The Conviction of Things Not Seen

This morning’s reading for my Good Morning Girls book club was Hebrews 11:1-3.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

Pretty familiar verses–especially the first one. In copying it down I was reminded that I need to stay in faith; to not give up on hopes and dreams I have for myself and other people, because after all, if I could see the fulfillment of those things it wouldn’t be faith–faith is all about what we don’t have in our hands *yet*. Good reminder and encouragement. The next sentence about the old men gaining approval by their faith is a reminder that even in Old Testament times, God was all about relationship–there was Law to be followed, yet at the heart of it all was faith; belief that the Law meant something and was worth upholding because it was given by a Person one could and should obey. The last one I could almost write down without looking at it; no big news there …

or was there?

“… the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

Now, this first stood out to me because Levi and I sat and watched a new show on the Sci-Fi channel last night called “Through the Wormhole” and it was all about String Theory and the idea that there are multiple universes in the … whatever you’d call it; so I got a kick out of the verse claiming that “the worlds were prepared” rather than “the world was prepared.” Maybe they’re right! Apparently that word could be translated ages, too. There’s another episode coming soon where they talk about the reality of time. Should be interesting. But as I read the last part of that sentence, I noticed a correlation I’d never seen before, in my … 25-odd years of reading the Bible pretty regularly …

“… what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”

Atoms! Cells! While many Greek thinkers believed that the world was made up of tiny particles, Democritus took the concept the farthest. Today’s scientists believe that there is strong evidence to suggest that everything is made up of atoms. Just last year a microscope was able to “image” atoms, according to this article.  All matter, all cells, all of everything. We learned it in science class, right?

Well, we *know* this not because we’ve seen it, but by faith in the scientists who tell us it’s so. We believe too that God created everything we see out of things that weren’t there until He created them, by faith in the Word which tells us so. Now … put those verses together! If we know that everything we see–the tree in the front yard, the table in the kitchen, the clouds in the sky–“was not made out of things which are visible,” can we go back to the second half of the first verse I mentioned and find new meaning in the definition of faith that says it is “the conviction of things not seen”?

Since we know *everything* is made from unseen things, can we stir up greater faith for the things we don’t see yet? I can! These verses tell me that right now, things I can’t see are coming together to create things I’m hoping for. Especially the things God has given me faith for, and most especially the things He’s promised me in His Word. He works all things together for my good and His glory. Even the things I can’t see! God has woven inspiration for faith into His universe (no matter how big it is.) Unseen things make up everything we now see. And unseen things make up everything we someday *will* see! A cause for rejoicing, to be sure. Praying we all grasp on to faith in the star-breathing God today!

ETA: Just found my daughter’s coloring page from children’s church. Guess what they’re studying? Surprise!  😉  The design says, “Faith is believing what we can’t see because of what we can see.” Haha! God is good. I love it!

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