Saturday, April 15, 2017

What is more fitting for Silent Saturday
than Hebrews 11:1?

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen."

This is more than a memory verse.  It is, as C.S. Lewis put it, "standing on tiptoe with joy."
It is complete assurance, unwavering conviction of what is promised, that what is hoped for will arrive.  It is as if the Saviour of all mankind has tied a scarf around our eyes, with a smile on His lips, to lead us all the way through this life and onward to the home He has prepared for us as we walk holding onto His strong arm waiting for His surprise to be revealed..  We do not doubt that what He has in store is perfect because of His character, because He is the Lover of our soul. 

But the disciples are gloomy, broken-hearted, miserable, and even afraid because their leader, their hope on this earth had been hung to die, then laid in a tomb.  His words had left them with a promise, but the Spirit had not come as of yet to reveal it to eyes of faith.  So at this moment, they were all doubting Thomas.  On the morn, their eyes would be opened to finally see.  But for this Silent Saturday, they had not faith, no assurance, no hope, no conviction in the unseen. Oh what a difference one sunrise can mean!

"By faith He endured, seeing Him who is invisible."

Someone named So von Soden said of being convinced, "Therefore not a rash, feebly-grounded hypothesis, a dream of hope, the child of a wish...We indeed know that what we hope for is not what we have as if it were in hand, but what is as yet hid from us, or at least the enjoyment of which is delayed to another time.  The Spirit of God shows to us hidden things, the knowledge of which cannot reach our senses: promised to us is eternal."

Another said,
"Faith, by the eye of it through the perspective glass of the promises,
a Christian may see into heaven...
This is true of faith; it makes evil things present, far off;
and good things far off, present."

Hugo De St. Victor said,
"By faith alone we are sure of eternal things that they ARE:
but by hope we are confident that

I love what Augustine said,
"Faith--the Lord has gone away so that as not to be seen:
He is hidden that He may be believed;
the yearning desire by faith after Him who is unseen
is the preparation of a heavenly mansion for us;
when He shall be seen, it shall be given to us
as the reward of faith."

"Faith is a real seeing."
"Assurance gives the true idea:
it is the firm grasp of faith on the unseen fact."
(Vincent's Word Studies)

"Just as we have our senses,
through which we hold communication with the physical universe,
so faith is the spiritual sense...through which
the soul comes into contact with and
is affected by the spiritual world."
(Andrew Murray)

Faith, "it is the solace of life,
the fullness of good hope."
(Philo the Jew)

"It renders us indifferent to all concerns of time and sense."
(Charles Simeons)

I say, since God is outside of time, so should faith be also.
What has been real, true, are mere shadows
while what is unseen has become real and true.
Faith is the eye of the soul.

"The unbeliever has no respect to nothing else: he sees nothing,
knows nothing, cares for nothing, but what is visible and temporal.
He is 'of the flesh,' and 'savours only the things of the flesh.'
His hopes, his fears, his joys, his sorrows are all carnal.
So it once was with the believer: but it is no longer.
By faith he now views other things which fully occupies his mind
and engage all the powers of his soul.
Earthly vanities once appeared as grand and glorious as the starry heavens.
But they are fled from his sight.
They all are eclipsed by the splendor as the Sun of Righteousness
which has arisen upon his soul."

"For what contend the wise? for nothing less
Than that the Soul, freed from the bonds of sense,
And to her God restored by evidence
Of things not seen, drawn forth from their recess,
Root there--and not in forms--her holiness."

"'Evidence,' demonstration; convincing proof to the believer:
the soul thereby seeing what the eye cannot see."

"'Assurance' gives the true idea.  It is the firm grasp by faith
on unseen fact."

Conviction: 'substance' ...the ground that stands...
contrasted with the mere visions of a thing...
faith in the believer's soul...conveying the thought
earnest, or pledge of ultimate fulfillment."

"Faith gives reality or substance to things hoped for."

"What an eminent grace is the grace of faith.
I call it, sometimes, the Queen of graces;
for faith seems to lead...though
hope and love follow almost side by side."

Take a leap of faith from Silent Saturday to Easter's Sunrise!

So this Silent Saturday, we are on the other side which the disciples could not see because we know what is going to happen.  Does that make this story less because we know the ending?  No, because by faith, we can grasp it and own it for our very own.

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