Summary: The part that faith plays in our relationship to God when we are not able to see Him at work in our lives or feel His presence.
“God is Like Scotch Tape: You Can’t See Him But He’s Always There”
INTRODUCTION: This morning I was going to give each of you a piece of scotch tape when you came in the door. This was to remind you of today’s message, “God is Like Scotch Tape: You Can’t See Him but He’s Always There.” After I thought about it for awhile, I decided not to do this because the Scotch Tape would probably be stuck everywhere--in the song books, on the pews, on the floor, or in somebody’s hair--for years to come. It would just continue sticking even though it is not easy to see. But I think the scotch tape could be used in more productive ways.
What would our lives be like without scotch tape and the way it holds things together--packages, repairs,--you name it. Scotch tape does many things for us every day. Probably we never think about it until the roll runs out right in the middle of a last minute project. It is in these times we realize how important scotch tape really is to us. Well, how does this relate to today’s scripture?
God is like scotch tape: You can’t see him but he’s always there.
1. How Do We Know This? In today’s scripture we see people from all walks of life who recognized the presence of God in their world and in their lives in spite of difficult circumstances and the times in which they lived. At the end of the sentence about them, scripture tells us that they were commended or that they pleased God. This was because of one thing. It was their FAITH to believe that God was there at all times even when they couldn’t see him working or even being present. One of the things they learned about faith is that it made them SURE OF what they hoped for and CERTAIN OF what they didn’t yet see. Verse 1 says “and this is what the ancients were commended for.”
How do we know For Sure? How did the people in this scripture know that God was really there for them? Noah may have had a lot of uncertainties about beginning the building project on the ark when up to that time it had not ever rained before. In three places in this verse it says, “BY FAITH Noah accomplished the project.
How do we know that God is always there? In verse 6 we find out that we must start with FAITH just like these people did.
“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.”
Spiritual things are accessed by faith--by our believing that it is so. Just say, “Lord, I choose to believe that you are always there for me whether I can see you or feel your presence or not.” The ancients BELIEVED God and were able to live their lives knowing that God was always there for them. Throughout their entire lifetime they lived a life of faith or belief. Verse 13 says, “All these people were still living by faith when they died.” This was a good testimony for them to have.
The BELIEVING COMES FIRST--It wasn’t raining when Noah began to build the ark. When we believe FIRST then he “rewards that faith” (vs. 6).
How do we know that God is always there in our lives when there are so many things to make us doubt? We also start with believe--our faith might be SMALL faith at times but faith can grow. You might say, “I don’t have ANY FAITH. Some people do and some people don’t. I’m just one who doesn’t have any faith.” Well, that is not scriptural. When you are tempted to doubt God’s presence, here’s a verse to remember.
Romans 12:3, “God has dealt to every man [person] the measure of faith.”
The second way to know that God is always there is that scripture says so.
Psalm 119:89 says, “Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” It has been established. It’s SETTLED.
STORY: When I am discussing things with Walter about something like travel plans I will bring it up later and say, “We could go here or there.” He will say, “I thought that was already settled.” And I say, “I’m still discussing it.” With God, things are already settled. When he says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” that’s settled. He is not still discussing it. It is settled forever. He is always there. He is not going to abandon us.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” That’s scriptural. Can you believe that?
God told Joshua this same thing in Joshua 1:5. “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will never leave you nor forsake you.”