In the Bible, we find a verse in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that says, “...for we walk by faith, not by sight...”. I have heard that verse my entire life, but I have never really given it much thought until this year as I began to study the book of Hebrews. For the past 5 years, I have read my Chronological Bible every day. At the end of last year, however, I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to start digging a bit deeper this year and he suggested we study the book of Hebrews. I went to the Christian book store and selected a book by Warren Wiersbe on Hebrews. The theme of the study was: Live by Faith, Not by Sight.
Let me digress a bit. After my first husband died from cancer 5 years ago, I felt burdened by the financial weight that had been placed on my shoulders. I not only had to take care of myself, but both of my children, one who was in college. Even though God came through for us at every turn, I still worried about what the next day would bring. When I remarried last year, my husband pointed out to me that I was still living in fear and not trusting God to take care of all of my needs. I had never seen it this way - I thought it was my responsibility to worry and that I was being a responsible adult. But is that really the way God wants us to live? I decided that this year, my theme would be to walk by faith, not by sight. So beginning this year, any time I would have a worrisome thought, I would say out loud; “I will walk by faith, not by sight”. This means that at that moment, I was choosing to stop focusing on the things I could see that worried me, but I was focusing instead on the promises of God to take care of me. This doesn’t mean that I can stop being responsible for where my money goes or stop caring about things that are important. It means that I have chosen to stop worrying about it.
Our world around us seems to be falling apart. The changes going on around us seem so unreal and scary. If our faith is on things in the world and not on God Who created the world, then we will be shaken. We tend to put our faith in money, careers, friends, possessions, physical appearance, etc. If we lose our job, we tend to panic; if our bank account gets too low, we panic; if things don’t go the way we planned, we panic. But if we look at these same things with eyes that understand how much God loves us and wants to take care of us, then we can relax and trust that it is something that God has allowed in our lives to teach us.
In my work with adolescents and adults, I have often used this example: If your student is given homework from school, do you stand at the door when they get home from school with your arms out and say, “Give me your homework so I can do it for you because I love you so much.”? Heavens, no. Both adults and adolescents understand the concept that if the parents do their homework for them, then they will never learn anything. Homework is given for the specific purpose of having the student practice things they learned at school so they can understand it and master that skill. In this same way, God allows us to do our own ‘homework’. Can He step in and rescue us from difficulties? Of course. But does He? Not very often. He wants us to learn the lessons on our own. This will increase our faith for the next lesson. And just like school, these lessons get a bit more difficult as we grow. Is it possible to never have problems in this life? Not really. We would never appreciate a beautiful sunny day if we never experienced a storm. But I believe that the problems we have in this life give us opportunities to grow closer to God and allow Him to teach us how to handle these problems. So the next time something comes into your life to cause stress and worry, try walking by faith and not by sight. You will discover true peace.