The bible says that “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). I have always found this to be an interesting verse, especially in light of the fact it seems to be a definition of faith. Faith, we are told, is the assurance and conviction of things not seen!
I don’t know about you, but I generally like to see where I am going. I don’t walk in the dark very well. In fact, I have a bad track record in that area. At this point I have lost count of the number of times I have gotten up in the middle of the night to use the rest room only to slam my toe on either the bed frame, corner of the wall, or the bathroom door. I know my children have woken up in the middle of the night believing that they are experiencing a nightmare only to discover that the madman howling like a lunatic is their pitiful dad who just broke his toe for the umpteenth time!
No, I really like the light, and so do my toes. The ironic thing is that Scripture teaches us that when we walk by faith we are in fact walking in the light, and when we choose to walk by sight (versus faith) then we are actually walking in the dark.
I remember when JFK Jr., was killed in a plane crash. Apparently he flew into bad weather. As a result he could not see the horizon and became disoriented. It was speculated that he crashed because he thought he was going up when in fact he was going down. Experienced pilots said that he was trying to fly by sight, but had he used his instrument panel to navigate then he would have most likely survived the storm.
The bible tells us that we are to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7). Walking by faith is like using the instrument panel on an airplane. Though a pilot may not be able to see past his windows for the clouds and rain, his instrument panel will always give him a clear picture of where he is and where he needs to go. In that regard it can be said that the pilot has an assurance and conviction about his situation.
When we live our life seeking to be guided only by what we can physically see, then we are not unlike JFK Jr., who was flying in a storm. As he was flying in the dark, so we are then living in the dark. Faith leads us to look to the instruments and tools God has given us so we can see clearly and navigate successfully.
With eyes of faith we are able to see the vital gauges of God’s manifold promises, warnings, and directives. The psalmist said “Oh, that my ways were directed to keep your statutes! (Psalm 119:5). God does seek to direct our ways. He desires to be our compass in life and to lead us through the storms so we may find rest and peace (Psalm 23, Prov 3:5-6). It is for that reason that the psalmist said, “Your word have I hidden in my heart…”
The instrument panel for daily living is the bible. When we learn it, believe it, and begin to live it, we will discover a whole new level of vision that brings clarity, assurance and conviction in the direction God is taking us.