“By faith we understand that the world were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible”. Hebrews 11:3
I was reading Hebrews 11 after the pastor had preached on it on Sunday. And while He was reading Hebrews 13:20-21, I felt like I never read the book of Hebrews before. The Bible has the power to do that to us, right? You hear a verse from a friend and the verse feels so fresh, so heartwarming, so new, and you are in. awe. I have the same Bible as my friend, you tell yourself; and I will go home and read that verse myself.
Well, that’s what happened to me. Something about those verses that the pastor read gave me a hunger to go seek gold in my Bible as well. Isn’t His word a treasure after all? A treasure that leads to His heart! But His word is better than gold, it’s life. We know that it gives us life when we read it. So I was reading Hebrews 11:3
I was amazed by these words: “…things which are seen were not made of things which are visible”. As human beings, we like visible things; well, mostly because we are visual beings. We don’t only want to know what’s going on, we want to see what’s going on.
And I have noticed that with God, He specializes in doing unseen things.
I was playing with a friend’s son, and essentially this is what we were doing: he would stand on a table and he would jump and I would catch him. And he loved this! After playing “jump and catch” for couple minutes, I thought about something:
First, did he think it was a “risk” to just jump, and “expect” me to catch him? the answer is no, right? Because children don’t keep doing what they don’t like, for sure! This was fun to him. Because every time I would catch him, he couldn’t wait to go back on the table and jump again!
The thing I thought about is: this “jumping” is like our faith, it’s trusting God with everything that happens in our life, it’s our faithful devotion to the Lord even when things don’t make sense, even when things hurt. All these things: faith, trusting God, faithful devotion to the Lord are unseen things that are exercised only when we jump.
How else would that boy know that I would catch him unless he jumped? How else would we know that God is trustworthy if we never trusted Him in all seasons of our lives?! Yes, all seasons! Not only seasons where you can see Him everywhere, but seasons where you feel like He is nowhere to be found (even though we all know in our mind that He is always there)! And I believe God gives us all, opportunities (well, here on earth we call these, difficulties?) to jump!
Ultimately, every time that God calls you to jump, He is really saying, “would you trust Me”?
I don’t know about you, but jumping from a certain height is scary? And it’s unpredictable! You may fall, you may not. Only time will tell after you jump, right? But one thing is for sure, you got to jump to know if you will fall or not!
So, go ahead and jump! “Jumping” looks different for all of us, maybe it’s trusting more for you, maybe it’s to keep having faith on that one thing that your mind keep telling you that it can’t happen? I trust that God will reveal to each one of us what “jumping” will look like in our own lives.
Unless we keep walking with the Lord, we won’t know how faithful and trustworthy He always is!
He is after our sanctification, not our comfort
Changing an evil heart into a godly one, required the blood of Christ on the cross.
The spring of this year was a different kind of season for me! It was an opportunity given to me by the Lord for me to lean harder and closer on Him (and as you may have already assumed, I called it a difficult season)! I was frustrated with what was going on in this season, and I voiced that to God, and He would kindly remind me this:
“Who you are becoming is more important to Me than how you feeling”!
Don’t get me wrong, God tremendously cares about how we are feeling, but do you think that He cares more about not hurting your feelings or about making you into the image of His son Jesus?
Or let’s be blunt? Why did we come to Jesus? Wasn’t it this heart cry that brought us to God: “Lord, I don’t like who I am, please change me into Your image”?
But why do we care about Jesus not hurting our feelings more than we care about being changed into the image of Christ? (of course, we are Christians, we can’t say that loudly, what kind of Christians would we be). But if we are being serious, sometimes we are so focused on the pain we are experiencing that we “forget” that when it is all said and done that “God who began a good work in us will bring it to completion at the day of Christ”. Philippians 1:6
God is always cultivating unseen things in us: His kindness, His love, His mercy, and all His good gifts.
God is more concerned with unseen things: changing our hearts, fellowshipping with us, growing our trust and faith in Him⎯ than He is concerned with us getting what we want! Yes, God can and does bless people with “things that are seen” but it’s not His ultimate goal!
We should be careful with things that we pray for God to remove! Because what we may pray for God to remove may be the very thing that is destined to lead us into our destiny! Honestly, they are areas in my life that I am not praying for God to “fix” because I know that God is using these areas to really change my heart. Do I want God to fix these areas? You bet I do! But I love/want the change in me more than I want to be comfortable!
“From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew 16:22-23
We can all agree that Peter meant well that Jesus shouldn’t be taken away! But Jesus had His eyes on the unseen: pleasing His Father.
It was only through the Cross that Jesus had to fulfill His mission here on earth.
Sometimes it’s only through the pain that God changes our hearts. Because when something that is so familiar to you is removed, of course it’s going to hurt. God uses pain free us from sin that easily ensnares us!! But when we are so focused on the pain, of course we can’t see the bigger picture of what’s going on! It’s only when we focus on Jesus, it’s only when we focus on the things that are unseen that we faithfully walk with the Lord in the midst of the tough times.
The discipline of God
“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
and scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:3-11
God could leave you and me alone! But, I promise you, that’s the last thing we want…