Hebrews 11:1-2 (NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

In Matthew 17:20 Jesus refers to faith the size of a mustard seed. The reference to the mustard seed is in itself irrelevant, and so is the size. The point Jesus was making to His disciples is that faith can be activated even in the most extreme of situations. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Having faith in the natural is easy. Peter didn’t need more than a small amount of faith to convince him to climb out the boat. The boat provided him with a safety zone comfort level. Once Peter had been called by Jesus, he climbed out the boat and walked on water toward Jesus. That was the easy part, having faith for what he hope for, the things he was able to see.

It’s the ‘things not seen’ part that got him. Once he was out of the safety of the boat and on the water, he required a whole new level of faith activation. We all know how that ended. Peter lost sight of his point of faith and sunk into the water. For a moment he doubted, and that cost him. The biblical concept of doubt is when our natural environments dictate the terms of our faith, terms summed up in fine sounding arguments like, “That’s not realistic” or “That isn’t practical.” It wasn’t practical –or realistic– for Peter to walk on water, but he initiated it because he saw Jesus doing it. Once he lost perspective, taking his eyes off Jesus, his focus shifted from the unseen to the seen.

For by it –faith that is– the elders obtained a GOOD testimony. Not just a testimony. Not just a generational tradition of oral storytelling passing on tribal history. A good testimony of supernatural feats. A good testimony of men and women who transgressed the natural realm to accomplish heroic deeds. This is the substance of things hope for and the evidence of things unseen. This faith is available to who believe, even those who believe only for a mustard seed.