Faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1-16 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old gained approval.
3 By faith we understand that the world has been created by the word of God so that what is seen has not been made out of things that are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he was attested to be righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for before he was taken up, he was attested to have been pleasing to God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He proves to be One who rewards those who seek Him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he left, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as a stranger in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore even from one man, and one who was as good as dead at that, there were born descendants who were just as the stars of heaven in number, and as the innumerable grains of sand along the seashore.
13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen and welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country which they left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
There are many people who say that faith in God is foolishness. They ask why do you believe in something that cannot be seen. Today’s text begins saying: Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen. For by it the people of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the world has been created by the word of God so that what is seen has not been made out of things that are visible. We cannot see wind, cold or heat, but we can see and feel the evidence of them. A tree falling over in a storm is proof that the unseen wind was there. Ice on a pond is evidence of cold. Creation is the evidence or proof that there must have been a creator. The magnitude and splendor; the detail, intricacies and complexity of life are proof that God exists. All that is seen and what is unseen in creation simply could not have come to exist by accident, much less by a series of accidents. That our earth is positioned the exact distance from the sun to sustain life is proof that God spoke and created the heavens and the earth, rather than that a great cosmic explosion occurred. That animals require oxygen and plants create oxygen is evidence of a plan rather than an accident. Who then is really the foolish one?
Romans 1:18-32 says: The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasonings, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible mankind, of birds, four-footed animals, and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them up to vile impurity in the lusts of their hearts, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged natural relations for that which is contrary to nature, and likewise the men, too, abandoned natural relations with women and burned in their desire toward one another, males with males committing shameful acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a depraved mind, to do those things that are not proper, people having been filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unfeeling, and unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them. In truth, it is not that many people do not believe there is a God, it is really that they don’t know and believe that He is good, loving and compassionate. They fear the wrath of God against unrighteousness, so they deny that He exists rather than comply with His commands. Romans 5:8 says: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. John 3:16 says: God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. To know the love of God and escape His wrath against unrighteousness, a person must see and believe in the demonstration of God’s love, that Jesus died for our forgiveness and redemption. 1 John 4:19 says: We love, because He first loved us. In John 14:15 Jesus says: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
In Romans 1:16-17, before describing the consequences of unbelief, it says: I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written: “But the righteous one will live by faith.” Amen. Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit for the certainty of things hoped for, for proof of things not seen. For by it we gain approval and redemption. By faith we understand that the world has been created by the word of God so that what is seen has not been made out of things that are visible. I choose to live by faith. Amen.