I believe in things I have never seen. I believe in things I cannot taste, touch, or hear. We call that belief, “faith.” But what does it mean to have faith? Is faith an irrational and totally emotional phenomenon? Does having “faith” mean throwing away all reason and logic? To listen to many, you would think the answer to these questions would be, yes.
Many would tell you that faith is turning off your mind and turning on your heart. They believe faith is just a blind leap into the unknown, hoping against hope that something is there to catch you when you fall. It’s not just unbelievers who speak of faith in this way, even Christians are beginning to couch faith in terms of blind acceptance.
The atheist says, “Reason, logic, and science prove God does not exist.” The agnostic says, “It cannot be proven whether God exists or not, therefore no one can ever really know.” And these two groups look condescendingly at the Christian, as the Christian simply says, “I have faith in God’s existence.”
How can you know for sure that God exists? What does it mean to have faith?
God – The Missing Piece of the Puzzle?
Allow me, if you will, to make an analogy. I realize, as with all analogies, it will have its flaws. However, it may help us to understand faith – and God – a little better.
As we all know, when putting together a puzzle, there comes a point when there’s a gaping hole in the middle. As we progress in putting the puzzle together, the hole gets smaller and smaller until we finally connect that last piece. But what if that last piece were missing?
God, I believe, is that finally piece of the puzzle. Although, He is not really missing; He is simply “unseen.” The question is this, does the rest of the puzzle reveal enough to allow us to come to a confident conclusion about the unseen piece?
1. There are things about the unseen piece which we cannot know.
Because we have never seen the missing piece of the puzzle, there are some things we simply cannot know about it. Similarly, there are things about God which we simply cannot know. His word says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
It is arrogant to think we have God completely figured out. It is arrogant to think that the human mind could ever fully comprehend an all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal, and ever-present God.
2. It is obvious that the unseen piece exists.
An incomplete puzzle, with a hole the size and shape of a puzzle piece, leads us to the natural and inescapable conclusion that a piece is supposed to belong there. This universe, for a myriad of reasons, demands the existence of a Creator. Granted, this Creator remains unseen, but His existence is undeniable based on what is seen.
Paul wrote that nature gives overwhelming evidence of God’s existence, leaving man with no excuse for disbelief, “For His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
The fact that our world and everything in it shows signs of design, demands there be a Designer. The fact that every material effect must have an adequate cause, demands there be a supernatural Cause for the Universe’s existence. The fact that life exists and life must come from life, demands there has always been a living One.
There is a God-shaped hole in our world. The fact that I cannot see God, does not change the fact that I KNOW He exists.
3. The shape of the unseen piece is evident.
Not only can we know – by looking at the puzzle – that a piece exists, we can know the shape of that piece. By looking at nature, we can know much about God’s character. We can know that God is a moral God, simply because mankind has morals. If there were no God, there would be no morality. The fact that morals exist, prove that God is a moral God.
Furthermore, God has not left us in the dark concerning His “shape,” His character. He has given us the pieces around Him. He has revealed to us His character through the pages of His word. As time progressed, God revealed more and more of His shape to mankind. As with a puzzle, the hole around Him grew smaller and smaller. Although He still remains unseen, we can know His exact shape through what He has made and through what He has revealed.
The greatest revelation of God’s shape was in the sending of His Son. The writer of Hebrews says this, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…” (Hebrews 1:1-3a).
God Himself may remain unseen, but He has clearly revealed His shape to mankind.
4. Even with an unseen piece, the picture is clearly discernible.
How ridiculous would it be to say about a puzzle with one missing piece, “There’s no way to know what the picture is supposed to look like because we cannot see the part of the image that’s on that one piece”? If everything in the puzzle indicates it’s a picture of a tiger, the missing piece can only be consistent with that conclusion – NOT contradictory to it.
Faith is not a belief in a contradictory puzzle piece. Faith comes from putting together the pieces of the puzzle, examining the evidence, and coming to a confident conclusion about that which cannot be seen. The Hebrew writer puts it this way, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). And Paul says that “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
There may be things we cannot know about God, but He has revealed more than enough for us to come to confident conclusions about His existence, His character, and His will.
If you are looking for more evidence of God’s existence, may I recommend the Apologetics Press website.
I love you and a very real God loves you,