Faith comes before sight
Our senses connect us to the visible world, to “what is seen.” But faith takes us behind the visible to the invisible. Paul brought out the opposition between faith and sight in 2 Corinthians 5:7: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
If we walk by sight, we do not need faith. If we walk by faith, we do not need sight. Each excludes the other. The world says, “Seeing is believing.” But the Bible reverses the order: First we must believe, then we will see.
This principle is so important that we will look at some passages of Scripture that illustrate it. In Psalm 27:13, David said, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Which came first, believing or seeing? Believing. What was true for David is true for all of us. If we cannot believe that we will see the goodness of the Lord, we will despair. The thing that keeps us from despairing is not what we see, but what we believe.
This agrees with the statement made about Moses in Hebrews 11:27: “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.” Nothing in Moses’ visible circumstances at this time could have given him any hope or encouragement. But in spite of all that was against him, he endured because he was able to see the unseen. How did he do this? By faith. Faith enables us to see the unseen and thus enables us to endure when the visible world offers us no hope or encouragement.
Now we turn to the record of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench; for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:39–40)
What Jesus asked here of Martha, He asks of all who desire to see the glory of God. We must believe that we will see. We do not see first, then believe. We believe first; then, as a result of believing, we see. Faith comes before sight.
Lord Jesus, I want to see the glory of God in my live. The world challenges me to see first, but your Word tells me faith comes first. I trust you more than I trust the world. Help me today to distinguish the things my eyes tell me and what your word says. By faith I say: your word is true. I believe that I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
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