“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). That is, we are called to believe in what our eyes have not seen, which, all things considered, shouldn’t be that hard for us, we who live in a day and age when the existence of the unseen is taken for granted.
Think about it. How many texts messages and phone calls and streamed movies and videos are in the air all around us, in us, and through us right now? A few weeks ago, while in Thailand, I received a text message from home. How? Did the text message, like a bullet, stream around the world and zero in on my phone thousands of miles away? No, instead it spread out over the world, like the atmosphere, only to be picked up by my phone, which happened to be with me in Thailand. If I were South America, or Washington state, it would have made no difference, would it?
All around us the unseen is accepted. Radio waves (movies, emails, phone calls, text messages, police chatter), and subatomic particles from outer space—they’re all in the air, just as real as, well, the air that you breathe (which is composed of chemicals we don’t see either).
The point is that in our age, perhaps more than any other (after all, two hundred years ago, most people might not have been able to conceive of radio waves, much less what they do), we should be able to believe in the existence of unseen realties, which means then that when Scripture talks about faith being “the evidence of things not seen,” we are being asked to believe in realities that, like radio waves, are simply beyond our sight.
If we do it all the time for secular realities—why not for spiritual ones as well?