Is blind faith bad?
When I think of blind faith, the negative aspects of blindness comes to mind. My mom struggles with her eyesight. She she can’t drive anymore. Things that were once easy for her, are now frustrating.
I don’t want to put blind faith in a contract, or a person. I don’t want to put blind faith in a position, or an opportunity. I want to see the details. I don’t have to have it all spelled out, but I need a clear idea of what to expect.
That’s why Hebrews 11:1 can feel a little overwhelming.
It feels a little like blind faith (the bad kind).
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
The author of Hebrews is writing to persecuted Christians. To encourage them in their faith, he tells them about some pretty extraordinary people of faith.
Some of them were asked to do spectacular things by God, and they believed they would come true. They obeyed. They listened. They did what was right.
But that’s where Hebrews 11 gets a little tricky, because most of them never saw it unfold.
They placed blind faith — confidence — in what they could not see.
All of those things did come true, but not in their timing. For some of them, it didn’t happen in their lifetime.
That’s hard for us, isn’t it?
You may be the exception, but waiting and not seeing — especially when you believe that God has spoken great things over your heart — isn’t really a part of our emotional DNA.
It’s doesn’t feel natural to equate faith with not seeing the results
I’m going deep today, and I know that. I hope that’s okay, but I think this is important.
What if the short-term results aren’t really our greatest answer?
If I were to list the things that matter most to me it is protection for my family, a roof over my head, the ability to put food on my table and pay the light bill, being healthy, and to wake up knowing that I’m loved (and to love in return).
All of these have been dinged at one time or another. Some have taken a direct hit.
In some of those instances there were immediate miracles as I prayed and trusted.
In others, I’m still holding on to what I cannot see. I’m practicing blind faith, assured that God is working in ways that I don’t understand.
Now, that sounds super spiritual and maybe you think I’ve got a bucket full of faith hanging around that you don’t have.
As I shared on day #7 of this 21-day adventure, sometimes you do are doing everything right and it doesn’t work out.
And that’s hard.
What we might not see
In Come With Me, I share a true story of a mom who prayed for years for her son.
She was a great mom, and raised her son well. Her son was an addict and had been in and out of jail. She was a prayer warrior and never ceased praying for him. One day the warden called and told her that years of addiction had affected her son so much that he wasn’t going to live.
They sent him home and he died in her arms.
A short-term view of faith might be that a mom prayed and nothing happened.
She was confident that God had spoken life over her son. She was confident that years of praying for him were not in vain.
Even in this bleak place, she trusted.
After the funeral she talked to a man who worked at the prison. He told her that her son spoke often of her, and that her son read his Bible to other prisoners. Her son admitted openly that he hated his addiction, and the fact that the only way that he could be sober was to be behind bars.
He also said that the reason he believed in God was because his mom never stopped praying for him.
The man from the prison said that many prisoners were reading the Bible because her son did. If God was somehow accessible to this flawed young man, maybe God could love them too.
Later that night, the mom received a phone call.
It was from a man she knew a long time. They were part of the same prayer group years earlier.
He said, “I was praying and your son came to mind. I had a vision of your son standing in front of Jesus. He fell to his knees weeping, saying, ‘I don’t deserve to be here. I love you, but I have never been strong. I’m a mess, Jesus.”
He continued. “Jesus knelt beside your son and pulled him close. He told your son, ‘You’re going to be okay now.'”
This man had no idea her son had passed away.
The reason this story was so impactful was that — without the teller knowing it — I have been praying for nearly 30 years for someone, and it’s an area of blind faith. I don’t see the results. It’s not happening in the time frame I wish it would, but God has assured me that he loves this person and he’s working in ways I cannot see.
Is the moral of this story that God kept her son in addiction so that he could be a witness in jail? No, absolutely not. It’s that her prayers were heard, and his promises were true, and he was working in the heart of her son who was bullied by addiction, but who loved Jesus.
A short-sighted view of faith might believe that if it doesn’t all work out like I think it should, that God didn’t answer.
A short-sighted view of faith might give up if it doesn’t happen in my time frame.
A short-sighted view of faith might be that it’s going to play out perfectly, and look like a Christian version of “this is what answered prayer looks like.”
Blind faith — the kind spoke of in Hebrews 11:1 — invites us trust God, if he’s the one that spoke it.
Do we want to walk in blind faith?
If I could pick, I’d choose short-term answers, overnight please, and do it exactly the way I tell you.
Blind faith — Hebrews 11:1 faith — tells us that when we are doing all we know to do, that we can rest (be assured) that God’s working.
He sees what we do not.
I wonder if one day we’ll be stunned at the eternal view he saw all along.
That’s blind faith, and it’s beautiful.
It’s Day 9 of Believing Big When We Feel Small, and today was a harder day.
Today, we are going to step back for a moment.
We’ve had our eyes on the short-term, because that’s what makes sense to us.
Ask God to help you see beyond results, beyond feelings, beyond what we want it to look like, if only for a day.
Consider that there might be a long-term view of this that he might see, and you might not. . . yet.
Make this a prayer. You can share it here, or in your journal, or both.
I know that it’s easier for us to talk about faith that offers immediate results, and I believe in miracles. But is it okay if we take the harder paths of faith as well? It’s there that we discover what it means to trust him, and where an eternal viewpoint might completely change who we are.
Love you big!