"Knowledge isn't enough"

The preacher asked his audience whether they believed he had a $20 bill in his closed hand. After a woman said that she believed he did, the speaker announced that he would destroy her faith by opening his hand and showing the money. "Now that you know I have a $20 bill," he said, "you can no longer have faith that I do."

If the preacher is correct, then the return of Christ will destroy the faith of His followers, for our faith will now be sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). And Jesus would not have told Thomas, "You believe because you have seen Me" (John 20:29), but rather "Because you have seen Me, you are no longer able to believe."

The preacher mistakenly thought that empirical proof destroys faith. Instead, proof strengthens faith by eliminating the uncertainty that often accompanies it (Hebrews 11:1). Firsthand evidence confirms our knowledge, which bolsters our faith.

Faith is not the opposite of knowledge. Faith actually rests on knowledge. The more we know, the more we're able to believe. Knowledge itself is not sufficient for faith, for even demons believe and tremble (James 2:19), but it's impossible to have faith without it.

Like the pilot of a hang glider who leaps off a cliff and trusts his survival to the sturdy construction of his glider and the principles of aerodynamics, we have faith only when we put our full trust in the promises of God.

Knowledge isn't enough. I may understand how hang gliding works and yet refuse to jump. But I won't take the leap of faith unless I know that hang gliding is a reliable sport. Likewise, I may know the promises of God and still not believe them. But it's impossible to believe them if I don't first know them. Want stronger faith? Start by getting to know God. , Mike Wittmer, Our Daily Journey

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