For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
The world around us functions according to input from the five physical senses. This is not how Christians are called to live. God has provided the ability to see the unseen through the eye of faith. If we will learn to function according to this, we will not be overcome or moved by circumstances around us.
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18
The things that are seen Paul is speaking about come from input received via our five physical senses. He tells us in this verse that these things are temporary. We can learn to view our trials and situations as having a limited lifespan regardless of how bad they may seem!
Paul mentions things that are “not seen”. These are not temporary like the things perceived by our five physical senses. They are eternal!
We mentioned in previous posts that stability can only be found by learning to walk by faith. This is because it will turn our focus towards things that do not change. If we are focused on the unseen we will not be moved by changes in our situation or a bad report. We will not be up and down like so many Christians.
…what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Faith does not expect things it can already see. It enables us to expect things that are not yet perceived by the five physical senses.
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Paul provides two factors that are important for us to take note of:
- not seen
- not yet
Patience enables us to wait for the things that are unseen but promised in God’s Word.
The phrase “seeing is believing” is utter falseness. If we can see it we will not need to believe for it.
Faith is only possible when it is not seen and when it is not yet. If we can feel or experience something we will not need to believe for it.
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen…
Here, Paul is contrasting two entirely different ways of living, functioning, and operating. A person who needs to “see” does not understand how faith works.
Faith is a firm persuasion of things that can only be seen in God’s Word. These cannot be perceived by our five physical senses. They are not yet manifested and therefore cannot be perceived by our five physical senses.
The moment something can be perceived by the senses is the moment we will no longer need faith to see them.
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