I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will make sense only in reverse.

What did Philip Yancey mean by:

I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will make sense only in reverse.


This quote essentially delves into the concept of faith as a forward-looking trust, a belief in something that may not be immediately comprehensible or logical. It’s about trusting that the seemingly random, chaotic, or even disastrous events in our lives will eventually make sense when we look back at them. It’s an affirmation that life, in retrospect, will reveal a pattern or a purpose that we couldn’t discern while we were in the midst of it.

This idea is akin to looking at a tapestry from the backside where all you can see are knots, loose threads, and a confusing array of colors. It’s only when you turn it around that you see the beautiful pattern or picture that those threads were forming. Similarly, faith is about trusting that there is a ‘picture’ or ‘design’ to our lives even when we can’t see it.

Applying this to today’s world or personal development, it means having faith in the face of uncertainty and adversity. It’s about trusting that the challenges we face today are shaping us, teaching us, and leading us towards our ultimate purpose or goal, even if we can’t see it right now.

In personal development, this could mean trusting in the process and believing that the effort we put in today will yield results in the future. It’s about having faith in our potential, even when progress seems slow or non-existent. In the broader societal context, it could mean having faith in the face of social, political, or environmental challenges. It’s about believing that our collective efforts can bring about positive change, even when the path forward seems unclear or the problems insurmountable.

This quote reminds us that faith is not just about believing in something without evidence, but about having the courage to trust in the unknown, to embrace uncertainty, and to believe in the possibility of a better future.

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