June 12, 2010

To Live is Christ — totally trusting, even without seeing

Faith in Jesus Christ is sometimes ridiculed as “blind” and “pie in the sky.” While this is not entirely true, faith has elements of both thoughts. The ridicule happens because those who do not believe only see a small part of what it means to trust God. They cannot see what I see.

“Blind” faith is thrown around because Christians believe in Someone that is invisible. Perhaps the scoffers think God is like the invisible friend invented by a child to be with them in their play or in troubled times.

While God does that for me, I didn’t invent Him — because I don’t have that capacity. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10–12)

How could I make up God when my sinful heart isn’t interested in seeking Him or doing what He says?

Instead, God is real and Jesus, God the Son, came to earth to make visible the glory of God, to show blind eyes what He is like. The strange thing is that although He did miracles and rose from the dead, people still refused to seek God. They didn’t want to be saved from sin, so they crucified Jesus, not realizing that by doing so, God could offer them eternal life. Yet apart from “blind” faith, the offer is rejected. The only reason anyone believes in Christ is that God draws us to Him, opens our eyes, gives us faith, and convicts us of our sin.

Even after understanding who Jesus is and that God loves me, forgives me, and draws me into a personal relationship with Him, I still need His revealing power to see and understand the spiritual realm. Scripture affirms this repeatedly.

As it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
Even the redeemed are blind. God says I need to walk by faith, not by sight, yet I still want to see, to walk by sight. He gives me understanding of Himself, yet so easily I go my own way and do my own thing. Is it because I am in constant need of this revelation of what God is doing in my life? I know that is true.

Every day I am drawn to Scripture. I’ve no idea what the day will hold and have learned how easily my plans can fall by the wayside. Life is uncertain, and even the little things are unpredictable. If this were not true, worry would never be a problem. In fact, those most keenly aware of this unpredictability are most inclined to struggle with worry.

Yet God affirms. My faith is not in what I know, or the clarity of my future. It is in Him, the One who is sovereign. I can walk with my hand in His — even with my eyes shut — and still be confident. I can walk in faith along the darkest path and through the darkest night, through deep and horrible trials, not because I can see, but because He has shown me that He is faithful.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Faith is not about seeing what’s coming, but about trusting the One who controls what is coming. I am blind as far as the future, but clear as crystal regarding faith’s true object, the God of the Universe, who is also my Friend.

Faith is also about “pie in the sky” — which is a skeptic’s description of my heavenly destination. Faith assures me of it, not because I can see it but because God has said it is waiting for me. He has revealed to my heart and mind that He is who He claims to be, that His glory is seen in His Son. I know that I can trust Him.

People can mock blind faith, but I know that the One who I cannot see exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. This is far better than trusting anything that I can see. No matter what that might be, all things other than God have too many strikes against them. Nothing but God is eternal. No one but God can deliver on every promise. I cannot trust myself; I’ve already realized the folly of that. I must trust Him who is invisible. He is unseen, yet He also reveals Himself and His faithfulness to those who humbly put their hand in His.

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