Faith vs. Sight; March 4, 2023

Exodus 4:30-31 He also performed the signs before the people, and they believed.

God knows our weakness and meets us where we are. As I mentioned a few days ago, Abram had no theological foundation for his faith, and his descendants at this point weren’t much better. God gave Moses supernatural signs to show the people and stimulate their faith, and it worked. However, Jesus’ statement to Thomas comes to mind: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29) And as Paul said a few years after that, “We live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) We are to rejoice when God gives us visible signs of His reality, His presence, but we aren’t to demand them or depend on them. As it famously says in Hebrews, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) Stage magicians make a living with illusions. Depending on what our senses tell us results in the same end as all the physical things we’re looking at, which is destruction. Like the father of the epileptic boy, we cry out, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) However, God does give faith to those who seek Him, above and beyond any “signs and wonders.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Accepting and walking in that faith is the path of salvation, peace, and joy.

I was raised in an environment of faith, and I am deeply grateful. Personally, I have seen some pretty remarkable things, including instantaneous healings, and I have had some times of intense fellowship with my Lord in which I was more sure that He was real than that I was. That said, as grateful as I am for those things, I am not to let my faith depend on them. God is still real even in what has been called “the dark night of the soul,” when everything seems bleak and God nowhere around. If I weren’t convinced of that, I would have far less reason to try to convince anyone else to trust Him. He has shown Himself faithful to me so many times that I would be totally ungrateful if I were not to share Him with those around me. And I have found that the more I share, the more I articulate my faith, the stronger and deeper it grows. As came up two days ago, in that way faith is very much like love. And just as love is delightful, so faith in our absolutely worthy Lord and Savior is the most delightful thing this side of heaven, at which point, as the hymn, It Is Well With My Soul puts it, our faith becomes sight.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the incredible gift of faith. May I receive it ever more fully, sharing and exercising it so that it will continue to grow, fulfilling all of Your purposes for me for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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