One of the more nefarious ideas I see undermining the faith of many Christians today is that true biblical faith is akin to a wish. Faith is vague, clouded, almost pathetic in its timidity amidst the lions of science or rationalism. To “just have faith” means to do little more than to keep your fingers crossed while rubbing your lucky rabbit’s foot against your four-leaf clover.
But faith isn’t so fuzzy:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Note the singular power in the words assurance and conviction. Those are not foggy, ethereal words. When I say, “You have my assurance…,” it means I very much promise you that this is the case.
Now true, I am human. I could very well renege on that assurance. However, the Lord never will.
When my wife and I were engaged, our engagement was an act of faith that we would culminate our love and friendship in marriage. We both had a relationship, and had a good idea what the other one was like as a person. I did not at any point doubt her existence, her willingness to marry me, her love, or her future promises to me.
Once we were married, we no longer needed the “faith” that the engagement entailed. Not only that, but all the things that prevented us from fully “knowing” each other were removed. Paul’s “through a glass darkly” becomes “fully known.”
All along our engagement, I was certain of her as a person and as a future wife, just as she was of me as a person and future husband. That certainty had a culmination (the wedding) that cemented everything.
So it is for the Church and the Lord. Faith is part of our engagement to the Lord as the Bride of Christ. The Lord’s words to us are sure and He will not break His end of the engagement promise. There is certainty! One day, we will have the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and everything will culminate. At that point, there is no more need for faith. It is there that we see face-to-face and be fully known.
But for now, our faith is an engagement promise to a Bridegroom who fulfills not only His promise to us, but ours to Him, as well. His wedding promise to us is certain. We have no reason to doubt a single word He has spoken to us. We need only rest in Him and wait eagerly for His return.
And until that day, we stand firmly on the assurance of faith.