Summary: A powerful explanation of the meaning and use of faith.
Looking Through the Faith Telescope
Believing is Seeing
Blondin lived from 1824-1897 and was a famous French tightrope walker and acrobat. His greatest fame came in 1859 when he accomplished one of his greatest feats for the first time- walking across a 1100 foot tight-rope suspended 160 feet above the waters of Niagara Falls. Blondin went on to walk across the falls several times each time with a different theatrical flare: blindfolded, in a sack, on stilts, and sitting down halfway while he made and ate an omelet. On one such high-wire walk, Blondin crossed over the falls pushing a wheelbarrow. When he reached the other side, he asked the spectators if they believed he could do it again. Everyone cheered. Blondin then asked if they believed he could cross the tightrope with someone in the wheelbarrow. Everyone cheered believing that he could do it and wanting to see this incredible stunt. Blondin then asked for a volunteer to ride in the wheelbarrow. No one stepped forward. It was one thing to believe Blondin could do what they had all seen him do, and another to put your life in his hands letting him push you across the falls on the high wire.
Tonight we are going to talk about this thing we call faith. First, what is faith?
II. Faith Defined
Faith – pistis – conviction, confidence, trust, belief, reliance, trustworthiness, and persuasion.
Faith is being totally convinced of something, being fully persuaded that it is real and true, enough to trust in it and rely on it, having total confidence that it will do what it says it will do.
Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” You gotta have faith. Faith is vital to receive anything from God. Do you want to receive from God? You gotta have faith. Faith goes into God’s pile and gets what it needs and brings it back to your pile. Do you want things from God’s pile? You gotta have faith. Let’s take a deeper look.
I need somebody that really believes they have faith. I mean, somebody with faith the size of a great big old mustard seed. Trust fall time.
____________ (volunteer)’s actions defined faith. ________ believed, was convinced that we would be able to catch him/her. We fully persuaded him/her not only that we were able to catch, but that it was indeed our purpose, our will, to catch him/her.
Some people are convinced after having seen someone else fall, that the group is able to catch someone. But, it may take a bit more convincing to persuade that person that the group will catch him. A lot of folks are like that with God. They are convinced, or have faith, that God can heal them. But they may not be as persuaded that God WILL heal them. Or, they are convinced that God can give them a new house. But they may not be as persuaded that God WILL give them a new house. Let’s keep digging here about faith.
III. The Telescope of Faith
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
The word substance here means title deed. It’s your legal claim to what belongs to you. If someone has a deed to a house, it’s his house. He owns it. You have a title deed to the things you hope for – faith. Faith says you have legal ownership of that Ferrari you’ve always hoped you’d get- by faith, it’s yours, you own it. What are you hoping for? Good grades? You got it. Lunch money? It’s yours. A boyfriend or girlfriend? You have it. A puppy? You own that. A new car? The title’s in your name. A later curfew? Go ask your parents. No. It’s yours. Faith is the title deed to those things you hope for.
Faith is also the evidence of things not seen. Now, what does that mean? Think about this. If someone is on trial for murder, the jury’s going to expect to see some type of evidence. For instance, the murder weapon, a revolver, a rope, a lead pipe, a candlestick, a wrench, or a knife, with the suspect’s fingerprints may be a type of evidence that they’ll want to see.
So, the prosecuting attorney presents exhibit A, and begins telling his story. Mr. Green was sneaking around the Conservatory and he found this lead pipe, which I will present as my primary form of evidence.
Well, this evidence is proof that Mr. Green was, in fact, the murderer. The prosecutor didn’t actually see Mr. Green commit the crime, nobody did but the victim, but the attorney knows, based on the evidence, or proof, that Mr. Green did commit the crime. Also, you can’t see the wind blow, but you see the leaves rustle, and the trees wave. The leaves and trees moving is evidence that the wind is blowing. Well, you may not be able to physically see the Ferrari that you’re hoping for, but faith is the proof that it’s yours. It’s the evidence that the Ferrari belongs to you.