For We Walk by Faith, Not by Sight.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. [2 Corinthians 9:22] Faith is knowing. Faith is knowing that you will wake up in the morning. Faith is coming to church and knowing you will be welcome. You have faith because you know in your heart, that it will happen. Everything that we do requires faith. You’re probably thinking, that faith is not knowing, because if you know something is going to happen then it’s not taking it on faith, right. When you walk out the door how do you know your vehicle will be in the driveway? How do you know that someone didn’t steal it in the night? The answer is that you don’t, rather you have faith that it will be there in the morning. Why is it that I can have faith that my cat will still be there in the morning but not have faith that God will feed me, clothe me, use me to do His will. Why? I have faith that if I cheat the IRS I will go to jail, but not that I will be healed if I get sick. Instead we worry, worry, worry, and there is absolutely nothing that worrying can accomplish. Just ask John Wesley and his cow, now you’re probably wondering what John Wesley and a cow have to do with faith? Well, let me tell you a story. One day John Wesley was walking with a troubled man who expressed his doubt as to the goodness of God. He said, “I do not know what I shall do with all this worry and trouble.” At the same moment Wesley saw a cow looking over a stone wall. “Do you know,” asked Wesley, “why that cow is looking over the wall?” “No,” said the man who was worried. Wesley said, “The cow is looking over the wall because she cannot see through it. That is what you must do with your wall of trouble—look over it and avoid it.” Faith enables us to look past our circumstances and focus on Christ.[1]

Jesus said “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? 28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed, your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. [Matthew 6:25-34]

Dale Carnegie said this about worry …  “Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” Let that sink in for a minute. I’ll repeat it even, “today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.” We never stop do we, we borrow trouble from the future and bring it into our lives today. How many times have you worried yourself sick over something only to find out it was never a problem in the first place, or worse you made a nothing issue into a real problem. You turned something that had no life on its own into a mess that you couldn’t get rid of because you wouldn’t leave it alone. There is truly nothing that you can do to change the past or the future, only the present, so why worry about something you can’t change. Often, we think we can change it or correct it but what we really do is create another problem entirely. We manufacture an issue, so we have something to worry about. We are never satisfied with what we have, we lack faith in the Lord. I think it’s the curse of humanity, that we brought out of the garden with us. This inability to be satisfied with what we have, to be unable to have faith in God that He will provide us with what we need. Not necessarily what we want but what we need. We have this amazing ability to convince ourselves that we are the most intelligent, powerful, beautiful, and yet humble and benevolent of all God’s creation. Even when we are confronted with the opposite, we deny it. Because we put our faith in our own abilities to provide rather than Gods. Even when we clearly don’t know what’s going on.

Jesus 26 … said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28 The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.” [Mark 4:26–32] Faith is like the seed that is scattered, we do not truly understand the miracle that is the seed. Oh, science has explained to us how seeds grow, but do you truly understand it. We can explain the mechanism that is the life cycle of a seed, but we do not understand what it is that happens when we plant that seed. Because, it doesn’t always work does it. You plant the seed and you water it and feed it and do everything you’re supposed to and still nothing happens. Why? Why don’t all the seeds sprout and produce fruit all the time. Was it because you didn’t have any faith? Was it because it was a bad seed? Who knows, we can’t explain it … no one can because, we don’t know why. We accept it on faith. The kingdom is like that, Jesus 30 … said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” [Mark 4:30–32] Our faith does not have to be colossal, it doesn’t have to explain the universe and everything in existence. We are as nothing compared to the universe and how we can have such absolute ego, such pride to think that we can change anything through our will is simply amazing to me. Still Jesus tells us that our faith in the kingdom is like that mustard seed, even though it is small infinitesimal compared to the rest of nature, it will grow. Not only will it grow larger it will grow to astonishing levels, it will become so significant that others will take shelter in it. We can make a difference if we forget our worries and put our faith in the kingdom of God. We don’t need to understand the universe or explain how it works, we don’t need to worry about the how and the why or the what if, … God already has it figured out and all we need to know is that all things are possible through God. 26 Jesus … said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” [Matthew 19:26] A small amount of faith planted in a willing heart, grows, as it grows, so grows the kingdom of God, until it has surpassed all other things. It surpasses worry and doubt, it conquers fear and loathing, it lifts us up and strengthens us beyond what we thought possible. And all that Jesus asks of us is faith, just a tiny bit of faith. Faith that God cannot forsake us because He said He would not. For we walk by faith, not by sight. [2 Corinthians 9:22] Amen.

[1] Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations, Walter B. Knight

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