There's one more important thing that I need to say about faith. It's simple but very important. Faith relates us to what our senses cannot perceive. As long as we are the slaves of our senses we really cannot move in faith. Paul says this clearly in 2 Corinthians 5:7:
“…for we walk by faith, not by sight‑“ (NASB)
In other words, what we do as Christians, the way we live is based on faith ‑ on what we believe, not on what we see. Not on what our senses tell us. Because our senses may tell us one thing, our faith may tell us another, and that's where we come into conflict. We all come into conflict. There's no exception. That's why the writer of Hebrews says, "Make your confession and then hold it fast..." Even if your senses tell you it isn't so, if God's Word says, it is so, it is so.
The same truth about the tension between faith and the revelation of the senses is contained in Hebrews chapter 11 ‑ the great faith chapter. Let me read two verses there, 1 and 3:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. [You see, faith is a strong persuasion, a conviction, something unshakable. But it relates, not to what we see, but to things that are not seen. And then in the third verse of that chapter:] 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.” (NASB)
Again, notice through faith we understand. That's so important. We don't understand and then believe. We believe and through believing we understand. Through faith, we come to understand that the great eternal underlying reality behind the whole visible created universe is the invisible Word of God. The universe was made by the Word of God so that everything that is seen was made out of something that is not seen ‑ the invisible Word of God.
Now faith does not relate us to the visible world. We don't need faith to relate us to the visible world. We have five senses to do that. But faith relates us to that invisible Word which is the Word of eternal unchanging truth ‑ the truth that is behind the whole visible world. So in faith, we relate to something that brought the visible world into being. And if we hold onto that faith, that faith will bring the visible world ‑ that which the senses reveal to us ‑ into line with what we believe. I want to say that what the senses reveal is not unreal. But it's impermanent. It can change. What faith perceives is unchangeable. It's eternal.
So we are walking by faith, not by the senses. We believe what God says and that brings what our senses show us into line what God says. So we walk by faith, not by sight.
Father, thank You that You have given me the gift of faith. I pray You increase my faith. Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, and give me Your Spirit of understanding, so I may really know You, and walk in faith, not by sight, and see the eternal riches You have stored up for me in Christ. In Jesus Name, Amen!