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Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Learning to Face the Facts With Faith

In 2 Corinthians 4:18 I read, “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (NIV)

When I’m chasing a dream God has given me, I’ll inevitably hit a place where it seems things are out of my control and there’s no way out. Short of a miracle from God, it’s a hopeless situation. I’m in the dead-end phase of God growing my faith.

When I hit a dead end, I need to face the facts with faith.

The worst thing I can do at a dead end is pretend there isn’t a problem. Having faith doesn’t mean that I deny reality. Faith isn’t saying, “I’m not in pain” when, in fact, I am. It’s not saying, “I don’t hurt” when I really do. It’s not saying, “I’m happy” when I’m grieving. That’s not faith. That’s phoniness! 

Faith is facing the facts without being disheartened by them, because I know God is greater than the problem

There is a brand of Christianity that basically says to deny all of our problems. Just have a positive confession. Name it and claim it. But that kind of thinking doesn’t come from Jesus. It’s more reflective of Pollyanna, a fictional character whose unrealistic view of life only sees the positive while completely ignoring anything negative. Pollyanna is not exactly a good theologian. 

When I have faith, I don’t have to deny reality. Faith is facing reality without being discouraged by it. When I have faith, I know that God can change a situation

I can’t build a family on a Pollyanna fantasy—but I can build your family on faith. I can’t build a business on fantasy—but I can build a business on faith. I can’t build a life on fantasy—but I can build my life on faith

To do that requires that I look beyond my circumstances: “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen [the problem] is temporary, but what is unseen [God’s power] is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV).

If I look at the world, I’m going to be distressed; there are problems everywhere! If I look within, I’m going to be depressed, because there are a lot of things that need changing in my life. But if I look at Jesus Christ, I’ll be at rest. What I focus on shapes what my reality looks like

When I start looking at my problem, I’m sunk. But if I look at Jesus—if I look toward my Deliverer rather than the difficulty—then I’ll make it. 

In summary, the things that are seen won’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. So keep my mind on those things that cannot be seen. Learn to see troubles as opportunities. There is purpose in our suffering. Afterall, the ultimate hope is that this life is not all there is. 

Knowing that I will live forever with God, can help me live above the pain I face in this life. I can handle an enormous amount of frustration, delay, and pain as long as I have hope. But when hope is gone, people give up. Jesus offers the only hope that is eternal and I need the right perspective to understand the hope found in Jesus. 

So I shouldn’t just look at what’s going on right now, rather I need to focus on the eternal. Difficulties don’t last. But hope in God will. No matter what my circumstances are, they are temporary. No problem comes to stay in my life. It will pass. Even if it is a lifelong chronic problem, because I won’t take it into eternity. So don’t shuffle along, absorbed with the things right in front of me. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ, that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective” My hope in Christ will become a hope fulfilled.