Archive for May, 2011

I’ll believe it when I see it

Seems like wisdom, right?  After all, who wants to give their hope, their heart, their decisions over to something they aren’t absolutely certain about.  On the surface it seems like prudence to look through life with a healthy dose of skepticism.  No one wants to be “taken in.”

However, this bears a bit of re-examination.  We don’t realize how much of what we commit to in out thinking, our feelings and our decisions is based on what we believe.  And I’m not talking about things that we acknowledge based on visible, tangible evidence, I’m talking about things in which we place our faith without realizing it is a matter of faith.

Every day, we take for granted that we will wake up, and not die in our sleep.  There is no guarantee that our heart won’t stop, or a catastrophe won’t strike, and yet we choose not to live in fear because we believe we will be fine. This is hope.  Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, we have made the choice to believe we will be safe, and we base our lives, our decisions and our emotions on that hope.  (Don’t get me wrong, hope is a VERY good thing!)

Scriptures say:

…hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance… Romans 8:24, 25

There are many things that I hope and pray for.  Most of the greatest answered prayers and fulfilled hopes in my life have come miraculously as a result of making unusual (by human standards) requests.  Asking God for what would be considered by mere mortals to be miracles.  I could not see how it was going to happen, but I knew this:  Nothing is impossible for God.  And what I consider a HUGE thing to ask of Him is, in the proper perspective, just a drop in the ocean.

What’s big?  A billion dollars, a skyscraper, the Grand Canyon?  Sure, in our eyes they are.  But through the eyes of the creator of the Universe, who called into existence things that were not (Rom 4:17) by His voice and spoken word, how great are these things anyway?  Do you believe you can speak to a mountain with faith the size of a mustard seed and command it to be removed and cast into the sea?  Is that too big for God?

It’s not about the end result (though yes, we pray and hope for it.) It’s about our faith.  In the book of Hebrews, it says:

Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

And Jesus Himself said:

And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive

The book of James chapter 1 says:

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

So my goal in prayer is to please God with my single-minded faith.  The outcome of my prayer, while important, is but a byproduct.  I don’t live to receive that which I ask for in prayer.  I don’t pray primarily to receive.  I pray to please God, and I trust that in pleasing Him, he will take care of all my needs.

As Jesus said,

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righeousness,

And all these things will be added to you.

So I rather than live by the old addage, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” I will live by this:

I’ll see it when I believe it!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

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