Rebuilding our faith
January 10, 2021
Happy new year, everyone!
Many of us have set goals for the year—losing weight, completing long-overdue projects, getting better jobs, decluttering our lives, reading the entire Bible, and so on. One of mine is doing a serious Bible study on faith—rediscovering what it is (and is not) and what it means to live by it. I will be sharing my findings on this site throughout the year and invite you to join me.
Faith is fundamentally about our sight, our ability to see what is unseen by the natural human eye. As limited beings living in a material, three-dimensional world, we are trained to live by our senses and often unable to see possibilities outside of them. In fact, most times we are afraid that believing in the existence of what is unseen, unfelt or unheard (God particularly) makes us delusional! So it’s not surprising that it often takes faith in God for us to not only see possibilities beyond our limitations, but to be comfortable and courageous enough to act on them.
The story of Elisha and his servant in 2 Kings 6:8-17 illustrates this beautifully. The King of Aram, an enemy of Israel, sent an army by night to capture Elisha. Elisha and his servant awoke to a surrounded city. The sheer size of the army, with its impressive horses and chariots, terrified Elisha’s servant, but Elisha calmly assured him that “those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (v. 16). He then prayed that his servant’s eyes would be opened, so he could see them. God opened the servant’s eyes and he saw hills full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha. The servant realized then that he and Elisha were actually quite safe (and Elisha wasn’t delusional!).
The story also shows the dangers of living by sight alone. Because all we see is not all there is to see, living by sight makes us particularly susceptible to fear and deception. Like Elisha’s servant, we are terrified by the appearance of threatening circumstances and often deceived into retreat, panic and poor decision-making. God’s solution to this problem is faith.
Through eyes of faith, God allows us to see him and the vast resources and possibilities available to us. Faith blows our world open, much like I would imagine a fish responding to a bird’s description of the world: “What? Thirty-foot trees! A blue sky with white fluffy things! Walking creatures? Breathing without water? No way!”
To see all there is to see, we need only pray, “Lord open my eyes…”
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb. 1:1.