(December 28, 2013)
It there a more powerful statement in all of the world than the simple statement, “Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.” We labor throughout our lives to change our natures and give ourselves over to Christ, or else we labor for some worldly goal (worthy or unworthy). In the absence of faith, everything we have worked for turns to dust at our death. Some unbelievers hope for immortality through their family, or their work, or any number of other ways. But even if immortality was offered in this way, they would never see it in their beliefs because oblivion would consume them and all that they had ever hoped for, loved, won, lost, and accomplished would be gone in that moment they passed from living to dead.
There is no hope without faith. The universe is too large, we can do nothing to change the rotation of the Earth as we circle the Sun (a minor planet around a minor star – one of billions in a galaxy found in a universe full of hundreds of millions of such galaxies). The scope and scale of our impotence in the face of the scale of reality is complete – we are nothing. Without faith, there is nothing that we can do that will matter in the slightest, and so hope is irrevocably lost absent faith.
With faith, however, we see the universe as it truly is. The magnitude of reality is nothing more than a moving metaphor for the power and majesty of God. We see the size and scope of the universe, and we glimpse (only in the tiniest way) the scope of God’s power and our own weakness before Him. He placed the planets around the stars, the stars in the galaxies, and formed and forms these galaxies. Such is His power, and with faith we rightly stand in awe of Him. And yet, with that same faith we understand that for some reason – beyond any value in ourselves and beyond our comprehension – we are loved by Him. He who set the stars in the sky and could likewise throw them down loves us. With the scope and scale of the universe, He still knows our name. This resonates with me as I write it, and I am brought nearly to tears by the thought.