Second Corinthians 5:7 tells us that, "We live by faith, and not by sight. It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going" (The Message).
As we discussed earlier, faith is the hope for things not yet seen. When you pray, you are accessing the power of faith, because you want what you are praying for to come true. When you pray you can't see the answer, but you will when God decides that it is time for you to have the answer. Then you can see what you've prayed for. As we'll learn in the next section, Hope, with faith, as the Message verse says, helps us trust in the things we don't see that helps us walk into the future knowing that we are secure in Jesus' love and power.
Let's look at the human body. The only part of the body we can see the most is our flesh. Beneath our flesh are all of our organs, blood, and bones. We cannot see them, but they are there. If you are, at this moment, alive and breathing, then you know that all of your body parts are working to keep you interacting with the world. It is faith in your body that it will keep on working for many years to come.
But what happens when a part of your body begins to break down? Or you break a bone and are in a lot of pain? You've been to the doctor, and he has just told you that you have cancer and might not live for very much longer. With the broken bone, you have faith in the body's healing power that it should mend back to its original shape again. In your mind, you just "know" without a doubt that the bone will heal. But how do you know this? Sometimes broken bones do not always heal well, and stay in your body the way it did heal. Sometimes, it may take surgery and plates and pins to put the bone back together again.If your broken bone does not require surgery, but only a cast, how do you know that it will definately heal itself? You know because you have faith that your body will indeed heal that bone back to normal again.
But what about having been told that you have cancer, and that you will not live out the year? What do you do then? They tell you that you will need chemptherapy to, hopefully, get rid of the tumor and any cancer surrounding it. Where do you get the trust and faith that you will be healed from a disease that most people die from? You can't wish the cancer away. You can't go on a new cancer reducing diet plan to rid yourself of that little ball of out-of-control cells. Face it, you have cancer and are going to die.
Unless you know someone who can cure all the diseases of man. That someone is Jesus Christ. The Bible is replete with the many times Jesus cured a sick person. Leprosy, cancer, bleeding problems -- death. There is no disease known to man that Jesus has not cured. When Jesus cured simeone, or raised them from the dead, their faith in Him skyrocketed, and also the faith of those who were watching Jesus as He did the healing.
I have a friend from church that had cancer. For four months, every other week, he endured the chemotherapy treatments. The treatments would exhaust him to where he couldn't get out of bed for three days at a time. He had a nauseous feeling that wouldn't go away. He grew fatigued at the smallest of movements. For four months, he put up with the aftereffects because he knew that he must if he wanted to get rid of the cancer. About a week later, I heard that he had been prayed over for healing of the cancer and was completely healed, astonishing even the doctors that were taing care of him. It was his faith in Jesus' ability to heal him that did heal him. It was his faith in things not seen that cured him. He couldn't "see" Jesus; he couldn't see the cancer either, but he knew that they were both there. But he had the faith in Jesus Christ to know that he could be and was healed.
We as Christians know that there are things about ourselves that need changing. Things like our attitudes toward God; our behavior, especially toward other people; our mouths; our thoughts, and many other ways we misuse our lives. With Jesus in control of our lives, we can't always see what needs to be changed. But Jesus sees everything about us, whether we believe in Him or not. Our faith in Jesus allows Him to heal and change what needs to be healed and changed. Even our sicknesses and dieases.
But keep in mind, as far as your sicknesses and diseases, Jesus alone decides who He will heal or will not heal. Jeus doesn't heal everyone. Some He leaves sick, and some of those people die. Why? This is where this verse has its power. We, as Christians, have the faith that Jesus knows what He is doing. We know that He has a purpose for everything that happens in this world, good or bad. Jesus has a very good reason for not healing you; a purpose that is far greater than anything we could possibly think or imagine. If he heals me, there is a reason why he healed me. If He doesn't heal me, then there is a reason for that too. But I have enough faith in Jesus to trust His will for my life. So, since I can't see the rest of my life, which I have given over to Jesus for His purposes, I truly have to live by faith and not by sight, trusting that Jesus will do good things with my life until I reach Heaven, where I will finally be where He is forever.
We do not need to see Jesus in the flesh or with our own eyes. He is here with us at all times. It is through faith in Him that He will reveal Himself in the changes He makes in our lives through the Holy Spirit.
I Am More Blessed By Not Seeing And Still Believing
John 20:29 says, "Then Jesus told him (Doubting Thomas), 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen yet have believed.'" (New International Version). The Message says, "Jesus said, 'So, you believe because you've seen with you own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.'"
Do you have trouble believing in something you can't see? For example: when someone says they've seen a ghost, do you believe them? Of course, ghost aren't real, are they? Do you believe in angels, even though you cannot see them? Do you believe that angels are all around us at this very moment, every day, 24/7? What if I had proof that they were? Would you even believe me with proof, even though you can't see them all around you right now?
Let's put aside the topic of angels for the minute and talk about someone more important. Someone you may have never seen but have heard so much about. He walked this earth about 2,000 years ago. Many people saw Him when He was alive. But would you believe me if I told you that many, many other people saw Him walking around town three days after He was buried? If you've never put your trust in this man, you probably don't believe me.
But, then again, neither did Thomas, one of Jesus' closest disciples. He watched and walked with Jesus for the entire three years of Jesus' ministry. He listened and hung on every word Jesus said during those three years. He saw all the miracles that Jesus had performed, right in front of his eyes. He even heard Jesus talk about His resurrecting from the dead in three days long before His burial. But, most important of all, when Jesus had been resurrected, Thomas hadn't yet see Jesus that day as the other disciples had. Thomas verbally said that he would not believe that Jesus rose from the dead unless he saw Jesus and the nail holes in Jesus' hands and the wound in His side. Here's the whole story about what happened: (24)Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. (25)So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he (Thomas) said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe it." (26) A week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" (27)Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (28)Thomas said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" (29)Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:24-29/ New International Version)
We have all been, or still are, where Thomas had once been. When he didn't see, he did not believe. But once Jesus was standing right in front of him, with His hands spread palm-out, and His side showing where the spear had pierced it, Thomas instantly believed that Jesus was the Lord. Now look at what Jesus told Thomas, "Because toy have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen yet believed."
Who are those who have not seen yet believe that Jesus is still alive. We are called Christians, Children of God. We are those who have laid down their lives and given them to Jesus for His use and purpose. We are those whose many sins have been forgiven by Jesus forever. We are those to whom Jesus has given His Holy Spirit. And now, because of the Holy Spirit's influence in our lives, we can "see" God working in our lives to better them and to get them ready for Heaven. Now we can "see" the works of the angels around us. Now if we believe that we've seen a 'ghost', it probably was an angel sent by God to help us through a current situation.
Would you like to be able to see God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the angels of God? Would you like to be blessed by God for believing in Him even when you have not yet seen Him? Then all you have to do is ask Jesus to come into your life, to forgive you of your many sins, to change your life His way since your way doesn't work, and to give you the Holy Spirit to guide your life down God's path for you. It's that simple. Just talk to Jesus and be blessed by not seeing.
Next time we'll talk about how to obtain the faith to believe.
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