“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)
When we take care of our bodies, we are living by this principle presented in Hebrews 11. How? Because when we exercise, we do not immediately see the results. We trust that the exercise we are doing today will have beneficial results in the future. When we eat a well-balanced diet, we do not immediately see the good it does to our bodies. Instead, we trust that the food is doing good things inside of us, and perhaps we will eventually see the benefits on the outside. When we honor the bodies God has given us and care for them appropriately, we do so in faith that the efforts will be well worth it.
The same is true with our spiritual disciplines, isn’t it? When we read our Bibles each morning, we do so as a faith exercise and a discipline. Yes, we might “feel” a little better after doing so (just as we might feel a little better after a workout), but the hope is that the real benefit is much more far-reaching. When we build prayer and solitude and charity into our lifestyle, we do so with the hope that through it God will develop a more Christ-like person in us. And God promises that He will. The spiritual disciplines we incorporate into our lives might have momentary and immediate impact, but the real benefit is much more cumulative and long-term.
So press on. Exercise the faith that is given to you. The faith we use in the physical realm is the same faith we use in the spiritual realm … for God created us as one integrated being. (See SHEMA post on April 3, 2014). And the One we serve is faithful to complete what He has begun.