The Connection Between Faith and Unseen Things
“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:18
Our whole walk should be daily focusing on things that we cannot see, the things which are eternal. Everything we see is temporal, not lasting. While this is certainly a challenge because everything we see is “seen,” we must not look at everything we see. We must direct our gaze elsewhere in the Spirit.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb. 11:1 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. Heb. 11:3 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Rom. 1:20)
The word of God connects our faith and the effectiveness of our faith based on how much we are looking at the eternal, unseen things. Faith is what we are hoping for, the unseen things we are seeing on a daily basis. Even the things we see are just evidence of the things we can’t see.
Question: Do we understand how our faith is directly in proportion to how much we are focusing our minds and spirit on the eternal, unseen things? What are these unseen things that we are actually meditating on daily?
The Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11: They Practiced Seeing the Unseen
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous” Heb. 11:4
Abel was righteous because his faith was in a blood sacrifice that was coming, and he was demonstrating that faith by offering a blood sacrifice. In fact, his righteousness was bestowed on him for his faith in the unseen, blood sacrifice and what it reprensented-the coming sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Heb. 115
Enoch’s faith in the unseen was shown because he saw that he would not experience physical death. He saw himself escaping death and being translated into heaven. His faith in the unseen “pleased God” just as ours will in our coming translation, the “catching away” of the saints or the “rapture” as it is commonly known.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
Notice that immediately after Enoch demonstrated his faith in what he couldn’t see, God said it is impossible to please him without this kind of faith. Notice that he rewards those who “diligently SEEK him.” This seeking is seeing what we cannot see.
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” Hebrews 11:8
Notice that Abraham’s faith was demonstrated by going to a country that he had never SEEN.
“For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:10
Now notice that Abraham also exemplifed true faith by LOOKING for a city, the city of God that was coming thousands of years later mentioned in Revelation all through the Psalms.
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,..Accounting that God was] able to raise him] up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure” Hebrews 11:17-19
Abraham’s faith is mentioned as great because of things like this: he saw that God could raise his son back from the dead, and he saw that this was a figure of the Christ’s resurrection. Abraham SAW the resurrection of Jesus thousands of years before it happened.
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11:7
Noah had never SEEN a flood, or even rain for that matter. Yet he acted on his faith in this unseen warning of God. He believed God even though he had never seen this take place and couldn’t see it in the present. His fear of God was greater than his unbelief. He obtained “righteousness” and became an “heir of righteousness” because of his faith in the unseen things of God.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.” Hebrews 11:7
What should be pointed out here is a description the word of God gives of HOW to see the unseen things of God. The word said that all these men of God died in faith, having seen (the promises) afar off. Then it describes how they saw them: they “were persuaded of them…embraced them… and confessed” them. We must do the same. We must first be “persuaded of them” as the early fathers were. When we are persuaded of them, that is when we will “embrace them”. We must embrace the unseen as though it is more real than what lies in front of us, for it is more real and more lasting, eternal in the heavens.
“By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he (Moses) endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” Heb. 11:13
What a powerful witness of this truth of faith in the unseen things of God. Moses himself saw the most important unseen thing of all-Jesus Christ. Yes, Moses saw Jesus Christ according to scripture “seeing him who is invisible”. We know it was Christ because it also said later he “esteemed the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasure in Egypt.”
Hebrews 11:11-Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
Sara saw herself bearing a child and thus exemplifed the kind of faith that pleases God
Hebrews 11:16-But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Notice that we are to desire. to seek, to see that country of heaven. Heaven is a country and in that country is a city, the city of God that we are to SEE by faith.
We Are Going to Be Astounded Continually
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Rom 8:24-25 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor. 2:9 (quote from Isaiah 64:4-(For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.)
Notice that the same verse uses wait for the word love. Waiting for him in faith is loving him.
Question: How much do we really think about and long for these things below? If we do, our faith will grow daily.
Here is just a partial list of the unseen, eternal things that helps us to exercise our faith in the Lord (Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Col. 3:2)
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (1 Peter 1:8)
We will learn of the wisdom of Jesus forever
In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3)
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:!3
An Incorruptible Inheritance
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 1 Pet. 1:4
We will always walk in the Spirit
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. Rev. 3:4
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: Rom. 2:7
We receive Crowns and Rewards
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. 2 Tim. 4:8- Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12-And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away (1 Pet. 5:4)
We have New Bodies
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 1 Cor. 15:51 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Rom. 8:23
No more sorrow or pain
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Rev. 21:4
New Jerusalem, the city of God
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Rev. 21:2
We will eat from the tree of life everyday
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Rev. 2:7
We get to eat the “hidden manna” in heaven
e that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
We have a better and more enduring substance in heaven
For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Heb. 10:34
We have mansions in the city of God
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2
We get to know as we are known
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. 1 Cor. 13:12 We have everlasting fellowship with the saints
We shall possess the kingdom of God forever
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. Dan. 7:18