Seven Filters – Filter #4 – Part 1 Am I trusting the Lord or myself?

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:6–7, ESV)

In the Movie, “Indiana Jones, The Last Crusade,” Indiana Jones came to a crisis point in his quest for the holy grail. His father is seriously wounded and will die apart from a miracle. The only hope is that Indiana can get to the cavern in which the holy grail is located and bring it back filled. The thought is that drinking from the cup would heal his dad.

However, to get to the cavern, Indiana has to run through a series of hazards. To do this, he has mysterious clues. He negotiates all of them and then comes to a great crevasse with no apparent way to cross. He can see the entrance to the cavern straight ahead. However, he sees that to step forward means certain death. The clue for this hazard is that he must take a leap of faith. He is faced with no option and steps out into the crevasse landing on an unseen bridge. It was carefully camouflaged by the background. He successfully negotiated the crevasse into the cavern.

This scene in the movie, gives us a unique illustration of what faith is about. Discerning the thoughts that we have requires faith. We first need to understand what true faith is. The writer of Hebrews gives us great insight into the meaning and walk of true faith.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen . . . And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:1, 6, ESV)

The Greek word translated faith, pistis, refers to a firm persuasion or conviction (Thayer p147). The writer of Hebrews gives us this definition of faith.

Faith is a Confidence – The writer tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for.” The word assurance, hupostasis, refers to a substructure, a support or foundation (Strong G5287). Faith is the foundation for our hope. Hope in the Christian life is not like the “I hope so” used by the unbelieving. In the Christian context, hope is that for which we wait with joy and confidence. Therefore, one aspect of faith is that it is the confident foundation for the things promised. Faith is a gift of God given to us who believe that we can have confidence in His promises.

Faith is a Conviction – The writer goes on to say “the conviction of things not seen.” Conviction, elegchos, refers to a proof or evidence by which a thing is tested (Strong G1650). Here the words, “not seen” literally mean the things that we cannot see with our eyes. The phrase, in a metaphoric sense means, not seen with the mind’s eye, or unable to understand mentally. Faith is that gift of God by which we have the proof of things that the natural man cannot understand. This is vital for us to understand, since the ways of God are infinitely higher than our ways. Therefore, we cannot always fathom what God is doing in the big picture based upon our finite view of the circumstances and situations around us (Isaiah 55:8-9).

In a way, this is like the 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. If you did not have the picture of the finished assembled puzzle and you picked up one piece at random, you would still have no idea what the big picture was. God is in charge of the big picture, and it is beautiful. We are just called to manage our piece of the puzzle. We do this by faith, believing that the end result is just as beautiful as God has told us in his word. Here, faith is the answer. Faith confidently affirms the purposes and ways of God even when we cannot understand them in the big picture.

So, the major aspect of faith is to trust that the Lord is sovereign in every circumstance of life and that His ways as presented in the Scriptures present the only correct way to deal with life’s issues. We are to be obedient and trust God for the outcome.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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