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How Do We “See” the New Year?

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

When a young child’s mother leaves the room, and he cannot see, hear, or smell her – she’s gone! Then the crying begins.

We console the child,“Mama will be back!”

But the child wants proof! “Where’s my mother? I want to see her now!”

Things don’t change much as we grow older, do they? Oh, we may think we are more sophisticated and have matured—and in the things of this world perhaps we have, for time does gain us experience.

But when it comes to spiritual matters–to matters of faith–we don’t mature simply because time has passed since we first became Christians.

Either our faith is growing in the Word of God or it is dying without it.

When I am in church on a Sunday morning listening to the sermon, I find it easier to trust in the Lord, doing as the Holy Spirit expects. When I am in class teaching my students their Bible History lesson or delivering a devotion, I can feel very impassioned about the truths of Scripture. I revel in the work of the Holy Spirit moving my students with His message.

However, when we are away from the Word and “church friends,” do we find that it gets harder to apply the promises of Holy Scripture with their full import? (I often find it so!)

Satan, the world, and our own sinful nature always seek to convince us that ‘seeing is believing.’ We are tempted to think that if God’s Word is true, we should always be able to see its mighty results. Right?

I see bills piling up and expect to see an end in sight, yet none comes.

I look for a solution to a problem — or at least for a sign from God that I’m headed in the right direction — but no solution jumps out at me.

I try my best to be a good husband, father, and church member, yet I often discover short-fall instead of success, corner-cutting instead of dedication.

I see dedicated Christians serving their church with their time, treasure, and talent and expect to see the church grow and flourish before my eyes, and yet….

Walking By Faith

The Scriptures tell us, “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). If we could see God’s name literally carved onto everything around us, would that make this statement any more true: “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1)?

If we believe that statement is true, is there any need to worry about how we will be cared for?

If the Lord’s holy angels camped around us daily were visible to us, where is the need for faith, the assurance of “things hoped for”?

Dear reader, it is faith, gifted to us by the Holy Spirit, which convinces us that things not seen do exist! Seeing is not believing–believing is seeing!

Our faith will see solutions where reason can’t come up with any. The promises of God in His Word are more sure than even the very earth on which we are standing, for “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My [Jesus’] words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

And then in heaven faith will come to full fruition. We shall see Him face to face–the One in whom we had our hope!

Students don’t let us teachers forget our promises. If we tell them that we’ll be doing something special on a certain day, they’ll remind us, “But, you said…”! That’s good, isn’t it?! We should be held to our word.

If we sinful humans are expected to keep our word, how much more can we depend on our heavenly Father to keep His? We can hold Him to His Word and promises, and He will gladly keep them.

He has promised that if we put His Kingdom first, then all other things will be added to us.

If we call upon Him in times of trouble, He promises to deliver us (praise His name)!

The Lord also challenges our faith in regard to our offerings, telling us to see “If I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

And when our sins and shortcomings threaten to drag us into despair, God’s Word assures us, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

As we enter into a New Year, thanks be to the Lord who moves us to see with our hearts what our eyes cannot!