Through Faith

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Hebrews 11:3
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

I love this verse, but Wednesday night during Bible Study at Point Of Mercy in Nashville something happened. The first four words stuck out to me like never before. As Christians, we tend to focus on the big event parts of Bible verses, in this case the “worlds were framed … .” It’s in our nature, Wednesday though, those four words lit up in my heart.

I checked six different translations, and out of all of them, there were only two differences. In the KJV, the first word was the word through, and in all the others it was the word by. The only other difference was in The Message, instead of the word understand, it used the word see.

One of those translations was the Amplified Bible, and even it, with all of its descriptions, couldn’t improve on the phrase. “Through {By} faith we understand {see}”, stop there. The rest of the Scripture is of such importance that we don’t always appreciate this phrase.

Exodus 31:1
1 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,

When God calls a man named Bezaleel to build The Ark and The Tabernacle, He fills Him with The Spirit of God, and gives him three things. He gives him wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. He had to have all three to accomplish his mission.

He needed the knowledge of what to do with the materials God gave Moses. He had to have the wisdom to know how to build it. Most of all, he had to have understanding to comprehend the instructions God gave Moses.

Knowledge is beautiful, wisdom is precious, but without understanding, they are useless. Knowledge are the facts of something, the events that happened, the answers to questions. Wisdom knows when to use that knowledge. Understanding though, is what makes the other two accessible.

Without understanding, you cannot hope to retain knowledge. If you don’t understand something, then you have no desire to store it in your memory banks. Wisdom and understanding, while not the same thing, are twins. One knows when to use a particular piece of knowledge, or skill. Understanding is comprehension.

You might say knowledge is knowing what, wisdom is knowing when, and understanding is knowing why. I’ve gone on record in the past that I feel, in most cases, why is overrated. I still believe that, when it comes to many circumstances. Here why isn’t about obtaining knowledge to make everything make sense on my terms. Instead, here why is about true understanding.

Understanding that, no matter what, even if it’s something that I cannot comprehend, I can make it. In Hebrews 11:3, God isn’t relying on our wisdom or our knowledge. For example, I believe without a shadow of a doubt, that God created the worlds in six 24 hour days. I know this through understanding. Many have the knowledge that The Bible says this, but they can’t comprehend it.

Even scientists, with opposing views, have the wisdom to articulate the Biblical perspective when presenting both sides of the argument. They don’t believe it, but they have those facts, and can utilize them. What do we, as Believers, have that they don’t? The understanding, by Faith we see, even though we were not present at creation.

Through faith we see God speaking the worlds into existence. Through faith, we see Him saying “Let there be light, and there was light.” In short, through Him, we see far beyond our wisdom and our knowledge.

There have been times in my life where I could say By Faith I see. The answer, in those times, came naturally even if it wasn’t easy. By Faith, in my mind, indicates those times where the right choice is obvious. By Faith is like riding on a mighty warhorse into a noble battle.

Through Faith is a little harder, it’s those times when at first, I don’t understand. Through Faith is when, like a ship in the midst of the storm, I ride inside, while the waves try to scare me. Either way, just as long as I never give up, faith will take me all the way to understanding.

The question is, in my fiercest trial, what will I understand after the smoke clears? It’s probably not what you think. Some battles I’ve faced, I don’t know why I’ve faced them. I don’t know how it fit into my journey. Some answers will only get when we see Jesus. What I understand though, through Faith, is one day We Will See Jesus! He doesn’t ignore our cries, no more than He would our pain. Christ answers, not always the questions we ask, but those we should. One man who knew that more than anyone was Paul.

1 Corinthians 13:12
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

2 Timothy 4:7-8
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

The Apostle Paul had a problem, a thorn in His flesh. He had the knowledge that God could move it. He had the wisdom to ask God to take it away. God said no. He said that His grace was sufficient for him. Paul couldn’t see what good this thorn was to him, or how this would work for God’s glory.

What Paul could see was why it wasn’t removed. The constant was not only grace, but faith. He had  enough faith to trust that The One he served, and His grace was sufficient for His need. In the end, Paul said, I’ve kept the faith, I’ll see Jesus, and He’ll reward me with His righteousness, just as He promised from the beginning.

When difficult times arise in my life, there is so much that I cannot see, and yet through faith I see. I see a God that has never forsaken me. I see a God who, has experience drying my tears. I understand that He is able to change my situation, but loves me enough not to alter what’s best for me. Like the Earth, Mars, Jupiter, etc. He’s framing my world. The painting isn’t complete until it’s secured in the frame.

Oh, the paint may be dry. The signature is on the canvas, it looks good, but it’s not ready for display yet. Once it’s framed, it’s ready for the gallery. I believe that gallery is opening soon, but not just yet. I can’t see how it all will come together, but Through Faith, I know it will come together, in Him. No matter what age you are, no matter what you’ve been through, you’re not finished yet.

Your soul may be dry and crusting over with pain, or hardened in sin, but I’ve never seen a life that God couldn’t salvage. His blood turns an old ugly painting into a bright white new canvas. One filled with possibilities, life, and with hope. You don’t have to understand what is happening, or how it will work out, just understand why it’s going to be okay.

It’s going to be okay because He is holding you. It’s going to be okay, because while you haven’t, He has been here before. I’ve seen loved ones face their own health problems gripping the hand of God. We’ve said goodbye to family members, not knowing why it was happening, but at the same time understanding that He knows.

Just like Creation, I don’t know how a world can be formed from nothing, but He does. I cannot understand the Wisdom that God had to speak Light and Life into existence, but He does. As I face battles that terrify me, struggles that cause me to panic, and trials that confuse me, I can say something. By faith I understand that He knows why, how, and when this will work for my good.

He knows where in the painting to plant the trees, the rocks, and the river. He knows how high to make the mountain, and how deep to make the valley. It’s not so deep that I will fall, but it’s deep enough that I will call on Him. In my painting, the sun isn’t always visible, but it’s always shining through the clouds.

I can’t speak to why this is happening to you, when it will be over, or how it all makes sense. I can tell you that He will cradle you. Jesus cares for you, and He will carry you through. The same God that completed the world that He placed us in, will complete you and I. By faith we understand!