Man calls it:
“a leap into the dark”
“like jumping off a cliff”
God calls it:
“the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
What is it? Faith!
As can be seen above, man has many opinions about faith. Many say it is plain stupidity and makes no sense. Others claim it is like giving up all your social standing for a chance that you are right. They obviously think you will be proven wrong.
Yet, for God, faith is something that gives hope and evidence. Let me illustrate.
Many years ago I heard a story. Although I cannot remember all the details I remember the core points. I don’t know if the story is true or not so I’ll fill in the points I missed. Here is how it goes:
A man was once rock climbing by himself in a highly elevated area. The rocks were smooth and the cliff was straight up and down. The man liked risks and, when the area became covered in thick fog, he still took the chance and threw his rope over the edge and began to descend.
As the man descended, the fog got thicker until, eventually, the man couldn’t even see the rock in front of him. Then, to make matters worse, he ran out of rope. For minutes the man tried to think of a way to get back up. He had descended well over 200 feet and there was no way he could make it all the way up without seeing decent footholds.
Finally, after a few minutes, the man became so terrified that he decided that clinging onto the rope until morning came was his only hope.
The night grew colder but the man didn’t move. The fog grew thicker and had no intention of letting go. All through the night the man kept talking himself out of letting go and hoping the bottom was near. Many times he was sure that he heard a voice tell him to let go. He didn’t listen; instead he clung harder to the rope.
When the morning sun rose and burned off the fog, the man was exposed to the warmth of the sun. Within an hour the man’s frozen, but thawing body, slipped from the rope and landed on the ground . . . three feet below the end of the rope. The dead body of the man who had waited all night was discovered shortly later that day.
If the man had had some hope that the ground was near, and even tested it by hanging by his arms for a little bit, he would have found evidence that the thing he could not see, existed.
It is much like this for the Christian faith. We must first have faith that God exists before we can take some kind of action and find true evidence, in our hearts and souls, that He exists. We move from the believing to the knowing.
For me, and I’m sure for the man in our story, he would have been glad to take that leap of faith and landing safely on solid ground. Would you rather risk your life for nothing and die?