Have you ever wondered why you hold certain things to be true although they cannot be verified? It is one thing to believe that if you head south from San Francisco you will in time arrive in Los Angeles. That can be validated any number times by . . . . that’s right, by heading south from the Bay area. But in so many areas of life that kind of verification is impossible. So many of the more important things about life are not subject to scientific proof, e.g., there is a heaven and a hell, how will it all turn out, honesty is the best policy, love never fails, etc. Yet we believe them. Why?
Jesus had been sharing with his followers some truths about matters of a spiritual nature, specifically that if they would “eat his flesh and drink his blood they would have eternal life” (John 6:56). Many of his followers found such teaching offensive and turned their backs on him. But his disciples remained loyal because they had “come to believe” (vs. 69). Could they verify what they had “come to believe”? Well, not in the sense of proving it with scientific evidence, but does that make their belief less true? Does the validity of truth depend upon our ability to prove it in the laboratory?
In discussing the situation with his followers Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father makes it possible” (vs. 65). Provable? Well, at what level? It can’t be weighed, measured, or chemically determined but certainly that doesn’t make it false. Truths in the realm of the spirit are not subject to such methods of verification. So how can we know that unless God makes it possible a person cannot “come to” God?
It is at this point that faith enters the picture. Faith is not reckless confidence in what seems impossible but the quiet response of the heart to the overtures of God. Belief is less something believers do than their acquiescence to truth as it bids acceptance. We speak of “the ring of truth.” Jesus said that our personal relationship with Jesus would have been impossible apart from the empowerment of a loving God. So let’s celebrate truth as all that is consistent with the nature of God and thank him for his work within our hearts to accept it. God’s truth is not something we learn by our own diligence but that which we accept as a divine disclosure.