Faith: Certainty in the Unseen

Hebrews 11:  1 Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the certainty of things not seen”

I’ve often heard that elite athletes use visualization as a key component of their training.  They visualize the result they are wishing to attain.  A basketball player will visualize their shot swishing the net not even touching the rim.  A hockey player might visualize the puck going bar down into the back of the net.  I knew there was significant benefit from mental exercises, but I was extremely surprised when I read an article in Psychology Today that claimed you can even experience a muscle increase through mental exercise only.

“For instance, in his study on everyday people, Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, compared ‘people who went to the gym with people who carried out virtual workouts in their heads’. He found a 30% muscle increase in the group who went to the gym. However, the group of participants who conducted mental exercises of the weight training increased muscle strength by almost half as much (13.5%). This average remained for 3 months following the mental training.”

Key to all mental training is believing it will actually happen.  A basketball player has to believe her shot is going to go in.  A track cyclist has to believe they can ride faster than they have ever gone before, and in fact faster than any other cyclist before, if they want to set a new world record.

Today’s scripture is very similar.  Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the certainty of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  When people ask you what faith is, it is actually quite simple, it is believing something to be true even though you don’t see it today.  I am sure that I am saved and that I will spend eternity in heaven.  I am certain that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit exist even though I have not seen them face to face.  I am certain that I will see them in heaven and that they have prepared a place in heaven for me.

How about you?  Do you believe these things?  Do you have faith?  Your firm belief in Jesus affects how you conduct yourself everyday.  Do you conduct yourself with confidence as you pursue the works God has prepared for you, or are you riddled with doubt so that you are ineffective for God’s work?  Pray that God would help you have confidence in what you do not see and what you hope for.


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