"For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7). We come to Jesus by faith (Mark 16:16), and the whole journey from conversion to glory is made by faith as we look at the things that are not seen (2 Cor. 4:18).
Let us consider some aspects of this spiritual life which is comprised of trusting rather than seeing.
I. Believing that Jesus lived and walked among men: We, of course, never saw Him. We did not behold the signs He performed; neither did we hear the gracious words that He spoke. Jesus said to Thomas, "...because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29). We walk by faith, not by sight.
We tend sometimes to consider this a disadvantage. Things would be much easier, we think, had we lived when God became flesh and walked among men. Surely all doubts would vanish if we could see Him and hear Him.
Yet the stubborn fact remains that all who did see and hear Him did not believe. He was despised and rejected by men. He came unto His own and His own did not receive Him.
Those who will not accept the gospel account would not believe if they saw the evidence for themselves.
II. Believing the miracles of the Bible: When we challenge the alleged miracle workers of modern times to demonstrate their powers, we are accused of being unbelieving sign- seekers. But, in fact, we are not unbelievers. We believe in God; in the Son of God; in the inspiration of the Bible; and we believe every miracle that is recorded in the Bible. We believe that the sun stood still over Gibeon; that the dumb ass spoke; that the walls of Jericho fell; that Jesus healed the sick, lame, and blind, and walked upon the sea. We believe it all.
What we do not believe is that such power has been given to men today. We do not have to believe this to believe God. We walk by faith, not by sight.
III. Believing that our labor in the Lord is not in vain: We are assured that this is the case (1 Cor. 15:58). "In due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Gal. 6:7).
Such assurances imply that we need not expect to always see the fruit of our labor. Others may reap where we have sown. When we are at the point of crying out: "What good am I doing?!" it may well be that we have done more good than we know. We must labor by faith, not by sight. Let us continue to preach the word; teach the Bible classes; put forth the personal efforts to save the lost, and just accept God at His word that such will not return unto Him void.
IV. Believing in God's providential workings: God holds the world in His hands. In Him we live and move and have our being. All things work together for good for those who love God and are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:27). But we often do not see this. An old Puritan proverb says that God's providence, like Hebrew, can only be read backwards.
When we travel by air, few of us could explain the physical and aerodynamic laws that enable a hunk of machinery to fly. I certainly wouldn't want to fly in anything that I had a part in building. I really don't know how the thing works. And yet I'm reasonably confident that it will take me to my destination.
A child in a loving home certainly does not comprehend the purpose and the wisdom of much that is done for him and to him. He does not understand that denials and discipline are for his good. Yet he trusts the love, the goodness, and the wisdom of his parents.
How much more is it true that we do not fathom the providences of our God. Yet we trust Him. We walk by faith, not by sight.
V. Believing in the incorruptible inheritance: We have never been privileged to ascend on high and behold the wonders of that city whose builder and maker is God. We have not peered into that book of life to see our name written there. Yet we believe the promise of our Lord that He will come again and that where He is we shall be also (John 14:1-3). We believe that a rest remains for the people of God.
Like Israel of old in the desert, they had not seen Canaan land. They had not beheld the beauty of Mount Zion or stood on Jordan's banks, but they believed. They walked by faith. And we also who are traveling to the promised land are walking by faith, not by sight.
The day is coming when we shall walk by sight. We believe that our Lord walked among men; but one day we shall behold Him as He is and we shall be like Him. We believe the evidences of His power, but we shall one day know from experience that power that raises the dead. We believe that our labor is not in vain; but we will one day know the results of that labor. We believe that all things work together for good; but we shall one day behold the whole picture. We believe that there shall be fullness of joy in the presence of God; but one day we shall taste that joy, and we shall walk by sight.
By Ken Green -- Via Searching the Scriptures, November 1992, Volume 33, Number 11
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