Monday, April 10, 2017

Seeing with Eyes of Faith

while we look not at the things which are seen,
but at the things which are not seen;
for the things which are seen are temporal,
but the things which are not seen are eternal.
...for we walk by faith, not by sight---
II Corinthian 4:18, 5:7

By faith Moses...By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the
wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.
Hebrews 11:24-27

and though you have not seen Him, you love Him,
and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him,
you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
I Peter 1:8-9

"Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see My day,
and he saw it and was glad."
John 8:56

This section of II Corinthians quoted above begins with II Corinthians 4:13, when Paul states, "But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written..."  The crescendo of this thought is in 4:18 "while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

How can we walk by faith, and not by sight?  How can we endure as seeing Him who is unseen?  How can we look upon the things which are not seen?  How can we be like Abraham and see Christ's day and rejoice in it?  How can we not see Him and yet love Him and believe in Him?  The answer to all of these questions is simple; we see with eyes of faith.  Living by faith is what all true Christians do.  It is living with eyes of faith that see the unseen through the Word of God, because we believe and therefore trust the Word through which God has spoken to us.

Seeing leads to knowing, and we see this played out in the verses in chapter five that follow on the heels of 4:18:
5:1 For we know
5:6 Therefore, being always of good courage and knowing
5:11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord
5:16 Therefore, from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.

Abraham saw Christ's day through the promises of God.  Moses endured by seeing Him who is unseen through His promises to Moses.  We love Christ and believe in Him because we see our salvation in Him through the promises of God.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  By faith we accept the promises of God, and it is through the promises of God that we see Him and His salvation.  These promises are not just words written upon a page, they are the daily reality in which we live.

These can only be seen with eyes of faith, eyes that look upon the eternal, eyes that look to the promises of God.  It is the man or woman of faith who sees eternal things, who breathes holy air, who stands upon holy ground.

When we have eyes of faith, we do not see Christ as a historical figure, we see Him as the Savior; in fact, we see Him as our Savior.  We see that in Him our sins are forgiven.  We see His blood as our atonement.  We see His death as our life.  We see His shame as our glory.  We see His resurrection as our victory.  We see His ascension as our hope.  We see His completed work as our confidence. All that Christ is and all that He has done have become real to us by faith. 

Even though unseen, the promises of God have substance and reality.  The Lord talks to us and we experience Him and come to know Him through the Word of God.  When we take Him at His Word and believe His Word, He opens our eyes to see Him and to know Him; and the eternal things become a reality for us...just like they did for Abraham, Moses, and Paul.

Do you have eyes of faith, my friend?  Have you seen Him who is unseen?  Have you seen His coming day and rejoiced? Have you looked to the promises of God so that the Promise of God, Jesus Christ, has become real to you?