“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Hebrews 11 is an amazing chapter in scripture as it recounts those who lived by faith in God. These heroes of faith were far from perfect, and their lives were often painful and difficult. But they lived by faith in God—his purposes and promises. They believed there is a spiritual realm that is more real than anything we can see or touch. They were not satisfied with the mere temporal realities.
I recently read the spiritual classic The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. He writes: “You can in no manner be satisfied with temporal goods, for you were not created to find your rest in them. If you alone might have all the goods that were ever created, you would not therefore be happy and blessed. Your blessedness and your full happiness stand only in God, who has made all things from nothing. The felicity that is praised by foolish lovers of the world is not true felicity, but only such as good Christian men and women hope to have in the joy of heaven, and as some spiritual persons, clean and pure in heart, sometimes taste here in this present life—those whose conversation is in heaven. All worldly solace, and all man’s comfort, is in vain and short, but that comfort is blessed and certain which is perceived by truth inwardly in the heart.”