I'll See It When I Believe It
by John Notgrass
Do you identify with the father who cried out to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24)? I do. Jesus said that all things are possible to him who believes. Why am I so slow to take him at his word?
The skeptic, when challenged to consider spiritual truth, chooses to scoff, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” The disciple, when thus challenged, should respond with humility, “I’ll see it when I believe it.” Believing is much more than mental assent. Believing means living out the implications of what we acknowledge in our minds. In other words, faith without works is dead.
Enoch couldn’t wait to start walking with God until he saw his reward. He had to believe that God rewards those who seek him, and then live on that belief. Noah couldn’t wait until the rain started to begin building the ark. He had to take God’s message seriously and act upon it. Abraham didn’t have a map and a travel guide when God told him to leave his country and kindred. He had to start moving, not even knowing where he was going.
These and the other examples from the letter to the Hebrews illustrate for us what happens when God’s people believe: they conquer kingdoms, they effect righteousness, they shut the mouths of lions, they quench the power of fire, they bear up under torture. All things are possible to him who believes.
The petty things that I worry about pale in comparison with the challenges of faithful men and women of old. I should not struggle to “keep my hopes up” when faith is the substance of things hoped for. The simple answer for every doubt I have about work, money, education, and marriage is “I’ll see it when I believe it.” God will provide when I trust that he is able. He may not provide what I think I want when I think I want it, but if he doesn’t, then he’ll provide something better at a better time.
Again, believing and doing go together. If I said that God could provide my daily bread, but I refused to work diligently, then I would be a lazy fool. If I wore myself out to get riches and did not acknowledge God as the source of all blessings, then I would be a busy fool. If I refused to recognize God’s provision and loafed around, then I would be a plain old fool. The only wise alternative is to trust that God will provide and act upon his instructions. I’ll see it when I believe it.
We have not seen heaven. We have read about it, and we have testimony from someone who has been there (Jesus). Still we have not seen it. Some accuse us of waiting for pie in the sky by and
by, but they do not understand faith....
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