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Seeing for Believing

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. —Louisa May Alcott 

Sometimes faith requires us to close our eyes and imagine our hopes becoming realities. Take heaven, for example. When I recall what I’ve read in Scripture about heaven, I see nature on steroids. The greens are greener than any green I’ve seen. The sky and water are bluer than any blue I know. And the flowers—their color, size, and fragrance—are over the top. There’s no sickness. No conflict. 

As I see heaven in my mind’s eye, I place myself there. I recognize that I am a citizen of heaven, and I start to live as though it’s true. 

This is faith: Seeing the invisible and living like it’s true. 

This is what the men and women of Hebrews 11 did. They weren’t listed in the “Hall of Faith” because they were peak performers, but because at some point God gave them a peek into the reality of His promises. After that glimpse, they were never the same—they lived like the promises were true, even when those promises weren’t fulfilled in their lifetime. 

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance … (Hebrews 11:13) 

How did these people see the things promised and welcome them from a distance? Revelation. God gave glimpses then, just as He gives glimpses now. 

But there is one beautiful difference between Abraham’s time and ours. Many of the promises in the Old Testament were tangible. Abraham was promised land, and the Promised Land was there on earth at the time. It was a real place. 

New covenant promises, in contrast, are intangible. We can’t see salvation, heaven, or the indwelling Spirit. Yet every believer is promised the same invisible gifts. If we’re going to experience new covenant living, we have to trust God when He promises, and live as though His unseeable promises are true. 

This trusting—this living by faith—causes an unstoppable smile on Jesus’s face.

Lord, show me. Open my eyes to see Your promises on the pages of Scripture. Let me see, and imagine, and live there. Amen.

Dive deeper into Hebrews with Pete’s video series Better: A New and Living Way

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