The poverty of a life without faith
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
The passage goes on to say, “This is what the ancients were commended for.” It is also, might I add, what the modern man most lacks.
Pity the one who only believes what He can see.
The man without faith is poor even if his outward life pretends riches, for he lives in a world of his own making, devoid of the knowledge of God. How strange to live in a world created by God without knowing God! Is it any wonder why we fumble about blindly feeling our way?
How confident the world acts; how self assured! You don’t have to live long to see that it’s all a sham, a puffing up of the chest to project the image of “having it all together”. Not having eyes to see the unseen, we can only believe in ourselves. How tragic! Looking to ourselves we build all sorts of support structures- all based on what we can see; all based on us. We deify knowledge, philosophy, human wisdom, science, technology; in place of God sits the psychologist along with a host of other “experts” who purport to understand the human condition.
God shoots the whole thing down with a word:
“For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” (1 Corinthians 1:19)
The world and it’s support system are considered by God to be utter foolishness!
Looking for answers
There was a time in my life when I looked to the world for answers. I read many self-help books, all the time failing to see that they all had one thing in common: they put man at the center of the universe instead of God.
Through the ages we have made a specialty of making gods out of ourselves; is it any wonder we fail to see beyond our own faces in the mirror? Having enthroned ourselves, and having put the King’s crown on our own heads, we went on to spin deep sounding philosophies that keep us always at the center. Sometimes we may even allow God in our peripheral vision- thoughts of His existence may intrude, but in the end sight wins over faith: We can see ourselves, we can’t see God- we reason that we must be the center of the universe.
Into a world that seeks “proof” God speaks about “faith”. The greatest treasures of life are only accessible by faith!
The day finally came when I saw a little bit of what God saw. He lifted the veil on my heart and I saw the poverty of a life that revolved around me. It was going to take more than a self help book or a trip to the psychiatrist’s office to deal with who I was.
Suddenly the world’s answers seemed pretty shallow and foolish. I found myself agreeing with God- the world doesn’t know what it’s talking about!
“Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20)
None of my self help books ever told me that I had a “sin problem” (an important omission since that was my main problem!). My guidance counselor at school never said anything about me needing to be “reconciled to God”. The psychiatrist who gave me tranquilizers to calm my anxious nerves in my early 20′s never told me that Jesus was “the prince of peace” or that my sinful lifestyle could be causing some of my guilt and anxiety. Even if I were to be able to sail through life having riches and health and every desire satisfied (and who can say that!) I’d still be faced with death. I’d still be faced with the reality that whatever kind of life I was able to make for myself would eventually end- leading me to the ultimate conclusion: There must be more to life than this! This world can give you a lot of things, but after everything is said and done this world’s treasures and wisdom can only take you so far; without faith you can never enter into what real life is.
Real life centers around God; real life does not have man at the center.
If you’re going to enter into this “Life” it’s going to have to be by faith, because God has set things up so that faith is the only way in:
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
The entrance of faith
The bible says that, “Faith comes by hearing; and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)
As we read and hear the Word of God faith has an opportunity to grow in our heart. Faith itself is a “gift of God” and not something we can boast about. (Ephesians 2:8-10) In the world of faith GOD is at the center and GOD is the initiator. May He open your heart to believe in Him!
“… so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Ephesians 3:17)
The world offers up it’s substitutes for God, but they can never come close to knowing and walking with God Himself. The world will try to tell you that God doesn’t exist; failing to do that it will try to tell you to not make too big a deal out of God. Don’t let the world crush your faith!
“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2-3)
The riches of a life lived by faith
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11:3)
“All things were created by Him, and for Him.” (see Colossians 1:15)
By far, the greatest riches of a life filled with faith is that we are introduced to, and begin to know the God who created the entire universe. How can we ever begin to understand life, and our place in it, without knowing the One who created it all?
The entire universe was created by an unseen God- but He has revealed Himself through the person of Jesus Christ.
“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:3-5)
Have you comprehended it? Have you seen the unseen; believed by faith? Even though God came in the flesh in the person of Jesus many could not comprehend it. They could not see who He was even though He was standing right in front of them! For them, as well as for us, the requirement is the same- only by faith can we see that which is hidden; only by faith can we enter into the true riches of knowing the God who created us.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)