We live in a world of broken promises. So often people, corporations, and government tell us one thing, then either do something else or nothing at all. When someone says to you, “I will come to your picnic” it often really means “I will come to your picnic if nothing better comes up.” Marriages break up because “as long as we both shall live” really means “as long as it is convenient.” Have you ever bought something and when it breaks you call the customer hotline only to hear, “Oh, I am sorry, that part is not covered under warranty.”
How often have you heard this – If you do “x” I will do “y” but after you’ve done your part, the other person sometimes reneges on their promise. Unfortunately in the broken world in which we live, the conditional statement of “if x, then y” is not always true.
We also live in a “seeing is believing” world. You’ve probably said it yourself, “I will believe it when I see it?” Sadly, from experience many of us have become skeptical of much of what we hear or read. If we cannot see it, touch it, taste it, or smell it we have real doubts. Have you ever heard of the Apostle Thomas, commonly referred to as Doubting Thomas? Thomas was not willing to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead until he could actually touch Him (see John 20:24-29). We have become a society of Doubting Thomases.
God tells us something totally different than seeing is believing. God calls us to a place of faith; faith in Him and faith in His promises. God tells us that faith is not dependent upon our circumstances. Faith is trusting God in all circumstances. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says this, “We live by faith, not by sight.” Faith is about being confident in what we cannot currently see. In Hebrews 11:1 we read, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
What God really is saying is that He wants us to believe in order to see. For most of us that really goes against our natural inclination of “I will believe it when I see it.” We cannot see God but faith gives us assurance to believe that He is a good God and that He is faithful. Lamentations 3:22-23 gives us the assurance of God’s faithfulness, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is his faithfulness.”
So the takeaway for you today is that without faith that believes before it sees, when life gets rough, despair sets in if we only believe once we can see the outcome. Psalm 27:13 tells us, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” And then verse 14 gives us this challenge, “Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”
We will end with what Jesus told Doubting Thomas after he (Thomas) touched Jesus and finally believed that Jesus was raised from the dead. In John 20:28-29 we read this – Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet still have believed.”
God please grant us all a faith that believes before it sees! Amen