WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT
In 2 Cor 5: 6-7, St. Paul says, "So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight."
I would like to emphasize these words by St. Paul, "For we walk by faith, not by sight." Everybody knows that the world today is being inundated by this deadly Covid-19 virus which claimed the lives of more than 4,500,000 people to date. This virus has been ruining the lives of many people throughout the world not only on the terms of lives lost but also many have been hit hard economically, financially, psychologically, emotionally, and mentally.
Needless to say, many people are feeling that the world is caving in on them. The reason why this is so is because there are so many disasters going on around them; there are raging fires going on that seem to be unabated, flooding in many parts of the country and in Europe, hurricanes in the Gulf Coast and other places, the terrorists' attacks in Afghanistan, plus more threats of terrorist attacks not only in Afghanistan but also in the U.S. soil, high inflation rates, staggering rise of crime rates in the country, dramatic surges of Covid-19 cases and other maladies have been occurring without signs of letting up. It's not surprising that the faith of many people including Christians has been tested.
In John 16:33, Jesus says, "I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world, you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world." Surely, Jesus did not promise us a rose garden while we are in this world. On the contrary, He promised trouble for us, His followers. You may ask this proverbial question, "Why do I have to suffer? After all, I am a Jesus follower."
In 1 Peter 5:8-9, the Word of God says, "Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, always looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings." St. Paul also says in Eph 6:12, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
This brings to mind the story of Job in the Old Testament (cf. Job 1:15-22). One day, Satan told the Lord God that the reason that Job has been worshipping and praising and thanking God because God had blessed him tremendously. Job was extremely holy and upright man. "Give him to me," Satan told God, "and I promise you that Job will curse you to your face." The Lord God gave permission to Satan to lay his hands on Job provided that he would not kill him. Consequently, Job lost his health, his children, his house, his livestock, and his vast wealth. His wife told Job to "curse God" and die. But Job had refused to do so. He refused to curse God. Satan was dead wrong! Job, in spite of all his suffering, says, "the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
Eventually, the Lord God blessed Job with more wealth, the Lord healed him of his illnesses, the Lord God gave him new family, and with more livestock, and restored all the things that he had lost because of Satan's vicious and deadly attacks on him. Without a doubt, Job is a prime example of a person who walks by faith, not by sight. There are many more stories similar to Job's in the Scriptures, but we don't have the time to mention them all.
However, allow me to mention what happened to our friends. I don't want to mention their names to guard their privacy. About a month ago, our lady friend lost her consciousness and she fell down while taking a shower in their house. Her husband called me and my wife, who also is a retired nurse, for help. We immediately went to their house to try to revive her. The husband called 911 right away. In the hospital, various tests such as MRI, X-rays, blood tests, scans were performed on her immediately. The doctors told the husband that his wife has infection in the valves of her heart, and that the cardiologist was planning to do surgery on her, the sooner, the better, because her condition was very precarious. My wife and I immediately prayed for her healing and for successful surgery. The Lord spoke into my heart as I was praying for her. The Lord said into my heart, "My son, your friend, my daughter will be OK. Worry not. Entrust her to my healing and loving hands." The doctors replaced her two heart valves. The surgery took 6 hours to complete, but she was on induced coma. However, some complications had occurred, as a result, the doctors had to take her back to the operating room the morning after the first surgery. After the second surgery was done, the doctor said that our friend was in a very serious condition. However, I kept on reminding her family members what the Lord has revealed to me, that the final outcome would be that she would be alright. I encouraged them to walk by faith, not by sight, and to hang on to what the Lord has promised to do for her. She might have some setbacks and the doctors might have some discouraging news, but the final outcome at the end of the day, would be that she would recover. The Lord Jesus did not tell us in detail all the things that would transpire in between, but He told us the final result. I believe, that's all that was important. He wants us to walk by faith in Him and not what we hear and see. We have to cling on to His promises and believe that He is always faithful to His promises.
Some of the ways on how to walk by faith, not by sight:
- Ask the Lord Jesus to give you the faith that can move mountains by the power of the Holy Spirit. Faith is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:9. In Mark 11:23, Jesus says, "Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believe what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him."
- Do not always believe what you see and hear. We have to be careful not to be deceived or to be fearful of what we see and hear. "Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. Their malice may be concealed, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly." (Prov. 26:24-26). In Psalm 120:2, God's Words say, "Save me, Lord, from lying lips and deceitful tongues."
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus says to His disciples in Acts 1:8, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." The Holy Spirit is the "Paraclete," the "Comforter," the "Advocate," the "Uncreated Power of God." To be filled with the Holy is to be filled with Jesus in our mind, heart, soul, and spirit. We cannot walk in faith without the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Eph. 1:17-21, St. Paul says, "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart maybe enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His Holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realm, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come."