Something came to me while participating in an after sermon discussion group. I want to share it with you.
We were discussing the interconnection of Hope and Faith. The background is this…
People who don’t believe, don’t have faith; have no reason to have hope. The hopelessness of our society is rampant.
Having faith is prerequisite to having hope. So how do we know how to have faith, when it is in something unseen?
There are 4 different types of knowledge.
1. EXPERIENTIAL – This encompasses all empirical knowledge, and personally experienced learning.
2. THEORETICAL – We can know things that are discovered by following systematic thought. We know them because their truth is supported, despite not being experienced.
3. REVELATORY – This type may be debated by those who don’t believe, but is accepted by those who do believe. It takes faith for the revealed knowledge to be accepted as knowledge.
4. FAITH as KNOWLEDGE – When your faith has grown to the place where it has matured into an unshakable fact in your mind… it becomes knowledge. WHEN YOU KNOW THAT YOU KNOW, well, you just know.
This fourth type of knowledge is different from the first 3. It takes time to grow. Time is a component, which is part of the gift that your unique life path imparts to you. That may make it sound a lot like experiential knowledge. It also has a lot in common with revelatory knowledge.
The path we walk is intended by God to bring us back into redeemed relationship with Him. Of course because we have free will, our decisions play a part in what we experience along that path. But God is not “faked out” by our decisions.
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
Hebrews; Chapter 11, Verse 6 ESV