Faith is believing what you do not see; the reward of this faith is seeing what you believe.—St. Augustine
It was Augustine’s lot in life to serve God and the church in the waning days of the Roman Empire’s authority and peace in North Africa in the early 400s a.d. The Visigoths had already sacked Rome in 410, and Augustine wrote his masterful book The City of God to console his fellow Christians as they saw earthly prosperity and peace disappear. Soon the Vandals would overrun his beloved Hippo.
Hebrews chapter 11 is a masterful list of heroes of faith—people who listened to God’s astonishing promises and believed him, even though they died before they saw the glorious fulfillment. “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:39, 40).
You’ve been given a string of incredible promises from God, and many of them can’t be detected by the naked eye. You’ve been washed of your sins in Baptism, and yet you are all too aware of your many sins. You are fed with Christ himself in Holy Communion, yet all you can see is bread and wine. God himself thunders from heaven, but you can only read about it in ink on paper. Just believe. Soon comes sight.