Summary: By faith know what others cannot know and do what others cannot do.

After Columbus discovered America, the Spanish Nobles gave him a hard time, because they were jealous of the honors King Ferdinand was heaping on him. On one occasion, after they had had a little too much to drink, they began to complain about all the accolades Columbus received. They told him it was “mere animal resolution” that pushed his voyage a few leagues beyond what any one had dared to do before.

Columbus patiently listened. Then he took an egg from a dish and challenged them to show their ingenuity by making it stand on end. It went all around the table, but no one succeeded. Then Columbus said, “Give it to me, gentlemen.” He took the egg, broke it on one end, and immediately he stood it up on the table.

The noblemen complained even more: “We could have done that!” they said.

To which Columbus simply replied, “Yes, if the though had struck you; and if the though had struck you, you might have discovered America.” (Percy; Bible Illustrator #503-506)

It’s amazing what you can do with a little faith “if the thought strikes you.”

We saw it last week. You and I who believe in Christ have a fantastic faith that goes beyond the normal and the mundane. So by faith, be certain of what others cannot be certain – gain a confidence in God’s promises. By faith, see what others cannot see – gain a conviction of God’s principles. By faith, hear what others cannot hear – gain a confirmation of God’s pleasure.

That’s what we learned from Hebrews 11:1-2, so if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Hebrews 11 again this week. Hebrews 11, where we’ll see what else our fantastic faith in Christ can do for us.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (ESV)

God’s Word is powerful! Genesis 1 describes the creation of the universe, where It declares several times, “God said … and it was so.” God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light (Genesis 1:3). God said, “Let there be sky” … and it was so (Genesis 1:6-7). God said, “Let the dry land appear” … and it was so (Gen. 1:9). God said, “Let the earth sprout plants” … and it was so (Genesis 1:11). God said, “Let there be lights in the sky” … and it was so (Genesis 1:14-15). God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures” … and it was so (Genesis 1:24). God said… and it was so! God’s Word is powerful, and believers understand that power. So…


By trusting Christ, gain a comprehension of God’s power. By depending on the Lord, grasp the power of His Word.

God’s Word, which is invisible, created everything we see. Now, that doesn’t make sense to the unbeliever.

Some time ago, Dana Tierney described in The New York Times how both she and her husband John had rejected their childhood faith. They had their son Luke baptized to placate their families, but that was it.

When Dana's husband went to Iraq as an imbedded reporter, she was understandably fearful. But she was surprised at how calm four-year-old Luke was. She assumed that it was just youthful naiveté. Then one day they were watching a TV interview with a U.S. soldier who was sharing his fears about returning to Iraq. For just an instant, Dana saw Luke form his hands to pray. When she asked him about it, Luke at first denied it, but after he did it a second time, he confessed that he had been praying.

Dana was stunned, partly by Luke's faith, and partly by how his faith allowed him to be calm and her lack of faith caused her to be fearful. She was also embarrassed that her four-year son instinctively knew that praying for his dad was not acceptable to her.

When Dana asked Luke when he first began to believe in God, he said, “I don't know. I've always known he exists.” Later in the article, Dana admits that she feels like she is missing out. She writes, “[My religious friends] have an expansiveness of spirit. When they walk along a stream, they don't just see water falling over rocks; the sight fills them with ecstasy. They see a realm of hope beyond this world. I just see a babbling brook. I don't get the message.” (David Hart Bradstreet, Star Struck, Zondervan, 2016, pp. 108-110;

“The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1), but the unbeliever doesn’t get the message. Four-year-old believers understand more than 40-year-old atheists. They don’t just see the obvious. Like Dana Tierney admits, they see “a realm of hope BEYOND this world.”

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