Fresh Faith

Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Dinghies on Capitol Island

Dinghies on Capitol Island

An excerpt from Fresh Faith: What Happens When Real Faith Ignites God's People by Jim Cymbala, pastor of The Brooklyn Tabernacle

Faith is the ability of the human spirit to open up and receive impressions from God that are born from His Word and made alive by the Holy Spirit. This brings about a supernatural conviction of certain facts apart from the senses. Andrew Murray put it this way more than a hundred years ago, "Just as we have our senses, through which we hold communication with the physical universe, so faith is the spiritual sense or organ through which the soul comes into contact with and is affected by the spiritual world," In other words, just as our sense of sight or hearing lies dormant until acted upon by light or sound, so our ability to have faith lies dormant until we open ourselves to receive impressions from the eternal, invisible God.

Then we simply know that something is going to happen, for God's Word had been received and has activated this spiritual sense called faith. We now bank our life on it. If somebody says "Prove it," we cannot -- but we still know it is coming.

This is what Moses experienced thousands of years ago. "By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the kings's anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:27). How do we see the invisible? Not with the eyes in your head, but with the more powerful eyes of faith.

The senses -- touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing -- have to do with present and visible things. They can't pick up anything about the future. They have nothing to do with spiritual realities. But faith has to do primarily with these future and invisible things that God has promised us in His Word. Faith makes them more real to us than the headlines of today's newspaper. This other kind of "seeing" is what faith is all about, as the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:18: "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Faith can be likened to a transistor radio. When you turn the radio on, music pours out. Are there any trumpets or guitars inside that little box? Of course not. Yet the room has sound waves all through it. The human sense can't detect them at all. But the radio can pick them up. The music is not actually in the radio at all. The music is coming through the radio from a greater unseen source.

So it is with faith. Faith does not originate within us. It comes from God as we receive the living Word into our hearts. Then a supernatural kind of "music" comes alive in us as the product of this faith. A person filled with faith has an entirely different view of things from the person living merely by the physical senses.