Seeing the Unseen
Faith honors God, and God honors faith! A story from the life of missionaries Robert and Mary Moffat illustrates this truth. For ten years this couple labored faithfully in Bechuanaland without one ray of encouragement to brighten their way. They could not report a single convert. Finally the directors of their mission board began to question the wisdom of continuing the work. The thought of leaving their post, however, brought great grief to this devoted couple, for they felt sure that God was in their labors, and that they would see people turn to Christ in due season. They stayed, and for a year or two longer, darkness reigned. One day a friend in England sent word to the Moffatts that she wanted to mail them a gift and asked what they would like. Trusting that in time the Lord would bless their work, Mrs. Moffat replied, “Send us a communion set; I am sure it will soon be needed.” God honored that dear woman’s faith. They Holy Spirit touched the hearts of the villagers, and soon a little group of converts were united to form the first Christian church in that land. The communion set from England was delayed in the mail, but on the very day before the first commemoration of the Lord’s Supper in Bechuanaland, the set arrived.
Some people think of faith as a passive resignation, a simple copout from personal involvement in the realities of life. What a contrast this is to the portrait of faith given in the Word of God. Faith is not blind; it is intelligent. Faith is not irrelevant; it works in the arena of life. Scarcely any verse in the New Testament is more important than this because it states the nature of all true faith. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, Hebrews 11:1.
Consider now what faith, the firm conviction that things they could not see and in some cases could not understand were nonetheless true, led these people to do. Noah in Holy fear prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, because he believed and trusted God. He heeded the warning of God and complied with God’s instruction even though the judgment God warned about seemed remote and had no visible indications of possible fulfillment. Abraham obeyed; he left his homeland, friends, and relatives, to go live among strange people when God’s promises consisted only of generalities, without so much as one specific hint as to when or how they might be fulfilled.
Faith is not commanded to understand every word from God.
It is commanded to obey.