In the first verse of Hebrews 11 in the Bible it says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” The entire remaining chapter outlines many people who had faith in what they did not understand. Faith is the next step after hope.
So how can we have this conviction, this confidence? It reminds me of trying to psych myself out before trying to go on a zip-line for the first time! Keep in mind that this is now one of my favorite outdoor activities! I was at a camp at the time. As I walked up the side of the mountain to the “cage” that protected the beginning of the zip-line, my guide was explaining step by step what to expect. He said that I would have to wait until I was hooked in, and that the facilitator would hold me until I was ready to zip down the canyon. What I didn’t realize was that I needed to jump UP in order to hook in my carabiner (the hook attaching me to the cable). The only thing that I wanted to do was keep my feet on the ground and hang onto the security of the cage. Next they led me to the edge, where I was required to sit–right over the outlook of the cliff! Needless to say, by this time I was shaking in fear and anticipation. I teared up and began to whimper to my guide, “I don’t think I can do this! I’ll just walk back down!” He stubbornly (and wisely) told me that it wasn’t an option. Finally after a few minutes of panic, I told the facilitator, who stood by patiently holding me on the platform, “You’re just going to have to push me off.” He wasn’t allowed to do that, but he did lean over as he released me, and I easily whipped down the cable. It took less than a minute to reach the bottom where I was safely unhooked and climbed down the waiting ladder.
I hoped to get down the cliff unscathed. But until I actually put my faith toward what I hoped for, it wouldn’t come true.
But what would have happened if…?
If I had chickened out and my guide had allowed me to walk down? If I had tried to fight my facilitator? If I had refused to get hooked into the cable? I definitely would have missed out on something that adds extreme joy to my life today!
What did I need to do in order to achieve this? I needed to allow my guide and the facilitator to do what they had been trained to do. They had certainly directed many fellow campers successfully down the zip-line, and they were skilled in their job. In the same way, Christians need to allow the Lord to lead their lives, in whatever manner He sees fit. When He is the guide of our lives, we are merely the catalyst for His work. We’ve just got to allow Him to work through us. Sometimes the journey in life seems to be very haphazardly laid out, but He has a plan that guides us to bring glory to Him! THAT is the ultimate reason for everything, even when it doesn’t seem that we can trust what that outcome will be.