February 26, 2023
Dr. Paul Cannings
Many people quote this verse; “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) How do we actually do this? When we face job stress and people are in our faces. How do we turn off sight and do faith? How do we not do sight if we see someone we love in a coffin before us? If a spouse says things we don’t want to hear, how do we not do sight? When we are filled with anxiety, sometimes anger, fear, and stress, how do we manage all these emotions and more, and still live by faith? The challenge is that faith is not emotional (it does not illuminate our emotions; Romans 8:26); it is a cognitive process of developing the discipline of not allowing anything to divert us from obeying the Word of God (Romans 10:17; Hebrews 12:1-2). Because we are human, many times this verse (2 Corinthians 5:7) becomes more encouraging than a reality.
First, remember the Lord understands because He was challenged in the same way many times. To mention two, Christ being tried by satan in Luke 4:1-11 and being told He had to take the beating that He took, led Him to pray sweats of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46). Paul said this was a fight for him (1 Timothy 6:12).
Second, remember we have His Helper (Christ), the Holy Spirit, in us. We are not on our own (John 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit is committed to reminding us of what the Word says (Not make us study; John 14:26), guiding us to understand it (John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:10-15), convicting us when we sin (John 16:8-11), praying for us when our heart groans (Romans 8:26), and when we grow in Him, bring from the inside out joy, peace, strength, etc. (Galatians 5:22-25) so that we grow because we live by faith. Remember, God is at work in us (Philippians 2:13), and He plans to finish it (Philippians 1:6).
Third, we must use the tools and blueprint the Lord provides just like a construction worker. The blueprint is the Word of God. We must be committed to obeying it, no matter the circumstances because this triggers the work of the Holy Spirit. Some of the tools are prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17), including saints (James 5:16), the church where the gifts of the Holy Spirit reside (Ephesians 4:12-13, 16; 1 Peter 4:7-11), sticking with the truth (the nature of the Holy Spirit), learn to get rest (Christ many times went away alone) and always remember Christ only disciplines those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:7-12), because it matures us (James 1:2-4) to experience the power of “He who is within us that is greater” (1 John 4:4). As a result, walking by faith, not sight makes us conquerors, especially since nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:37-29).
Faith is not seeing; faith is believing in the person who can–Christ.