Recent events, including wars, famines, earthquakes, and persecution, have led many to interpret them as signs of the end times described in Matthew 24:6-13. This has caused anxiety among some who believe Jesus’ return is imminent. It also brings up the question posed by Jesus in Luke 18:8b: ‘When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?
Definition of Faith
Merriam-Webster’s definition of faith: “A firm belief in something for which there is no proof.”
How do we prove to a blind person that he should wear dark glasses to protect himself from the UV light of the sun which he cannot see? One way is to let him feel the heat of the sun. He can also believe in all the sighted people who can tell him about the sun.
Believing isn’t always about seeing, just like someone blind can learn to trust the sun they can’t see. Faith isn’t just jumping in the dark – it’s like feeling the sun’s warmth or listening to others tell you about it. It’s trusting what you can’t see right now, but know it is there.
Trusting in promises and realities beyond our present perception is also what Hebrews 11 verses 1 & 6 tell us:
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Heb 11:1)
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists.” (Heb 11:6)
Let me quote three more verses from the Bible:
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1)
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
Many more Bible passages can be quoted, but the few above are sufficient to emphasize that faith is not merely blind belief, but rather a grounded trust in God based on a combination of hope, experience, and evidence, even when the object of that faith remains unseen.
Object of Faith
For Christians, faith centers around Jesus, our Lord and God. Rom 10:9-10 highlights the link believing in Jesus’ resurrection and expressing that faith openly: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
Our faith does not rely on idols or works for justification but trusting in Jesus who paid the price of our sins. Rom 3:22 states, “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”
Similarly, Galatians 2:16 declares, “A person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”
Maturing in Faith
Martin Luther wrote:
“Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God’s grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith.”
“Ask God to work faith in you, or you will remain forever without faith, no matter what you wish, say or can do.”
In our 2024 CG study material on 1 Thessalonians, we explore the idea of a mature Christian’s “work produced by faith” (1 Thessalonians 1:3). A ‘work of faith’ is a righteous act of God which He carries out through us because of our faith in Christ. Our good works demonstrate that we are trusting in Christ for our salvation. For example, when we help the vulnerable in our midst in the name of Jesus, it is Jesus working through us to bring succor to them.
The world says “seeing is believing” but Christians say, “Believing is seeing” in the sense that our belief shapes our perspective and guides our actions, revealing the impact of Christ’s presence in our lives.