Faith in Unseen Things

by Frank Jones


Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. 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. (Hebrews 11:1-3)

Divine faith within every believer has as its object things not seen. Faith is the foundation of our confident expectation of unseen realities. Faith is the absolute persuasion of unseen realities. Peter would write concerning our Lord and God Jesus Christ; 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: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls (I Peter 1:8-9). Faith then becomes the basis of unseen realities becoming seen (illumined).

Every believer then should make it his aim to cultivate within their soul the absolute persuasion of unseen realities. The truth is that everything in the world (outside of the common grace of God) is deceit; seen deceptions (non-realities). The world is ungodly; meaning, unlike God in all things. The world rejoices in seen deceptions. Christians are to rejoice in unseen reality.

How are we to make unseen realities seen? The answer is by the reception of the engrafted word in meekness (James 1:21). The answer is by faith in the promises. 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(Hebrews 11:13). The answer is in the fervent pursuit by word and prayer the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

Christian, let us sit at Jesus feet before His pulpits this Lord's Day. Seek not merely to gather facts as one would gather sticks for a fire, but to earnestly petition the Spirit of Grace to transfigure His words in you into a living reality. Seek the Lord to make unseen realities seen by the grace of faith. This makes Christianity divine, that which the world cannot copy. This brings glory to God in His church. This is the source of true life and power for every one in Christ.

If we enquire what were the sources of the energy, and the springs of the activity, of the most successful ministers of Christ, we shall find that they lay in the ardour of their devotion. They were men of prayer and of faith. They dwelt upon the mount of communion with God, and came down from it like Moses to the people, radiant with the glory on which they had themselves been intently gazing. They stationed themselves where they could look at things unseen and eternal, and came with the stupendous visions fresh in their view, and preached under the impression of what they had just seen and heard. They drew their thoughts and made their sermons from their minds and from their books, but they breathed life and power into them from the hearts, and in their closets. Trace either Whitfield or Wesley in their career, and you will see how beaten was the road between their pulpits and their closets: the grass was not allowed to grow in that path. (John Angell JamesAn Earnest Ministry, 64-65).