How can someone have both faith, (intangible trust, hope), and yet assurance, (affirmation, proof)? If we are truly trusting, can we also truly be 100% sure of what it is in which we are trusting? It’s a valid question. So far as our understanding currently extends, faith and affirmation are opposites. Faith seems to be the absence of certainty.
Isn’t the definition of trust: a risk and a leap into uncharted waters? Faith seems to be the antithesis of surety.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
–Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
- The substance of intangibility and mental assertion and conjuring.
- The evidence of invisible, undiscovered things yet to be proven.
Yet Paul says in Romans that our faith is sure, that we can have surety of our salvation, and that we can know in whom we have believed.
Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might be] by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
–Romans 4:16 (KJV)
It is of FAITH by grace that the promise is SURE. We can have faith and yet be sure; in fact, it is our faith which gives us our surety. We are not called to doubt, but to know. Faith is not the absence of trust, it is the entrance to trust. By faith we enter into a relationship of trust with God, believing He will fulfill His promises.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
–1 John 5:13 (KJV)
John tells us that knowing goes hand in hand with believing. When we put our faith in God, we have certainty and know we have eternal life. And by knowing we can believe more in God every day onward. But, God is intangible. He exists outside of the physical universe. So, how can we know God?
God came to earth in human form, became the man Jesus Christ so that we could know Him. When faith wasn’t enough, He gave us tangible evidence of His being, and of His nature. Our faith in God can be sure, because the foundation of our faith is Christ Jesus, the Solid Rock.
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal: “The Lord knoweth those who are His,” and, “Let every one who nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
— 2 Timothy 2:19
Our foundation is sure because we are His. God is the only sure foundation, the only solid rock. Our faith can only be firm if we know in whom we have believed and are persuaded that He is able to keep our trust which we have committed to Him against the last and final days.
It seems like such a paradox that faith could be firm or that trust could be sure. But certainty is not always the same thing as assurance. Assurance is when we are given a peace of mind about what is not certain, and God gives His assurance to those that place their faith in Him. Our faith is sure and firm because God is sure and His Word is firm.
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
Firm faith is knowing yet trusting. It is believing that the heart of God when you can’t see the hand of God. Firm faith is standing on what you know to be sure and solid ground. Because the faith we place in God is not faith because we doubt the nature and goodness of the Almighty, but faith because we no longer control our own lives and future. It is firm because it rests in His character, and it is faith because we cannot see. When we surrender to Christ we are willfully surrendering our sight to Him. We become as one blind and no longer see our future, our wishes, but only Him; and He directs our vision withersoever He will. That is faith, and faith that is firm.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist