We have heard it over and over again: "It is out of your control."
But it takes a mature man in Christ to buck it up and accept that. I don't always have that kind of maturity. Do you? I find myself wanting to control the actions of others (well, just sort of) because I really do think I know what is in their best interest (at least I think I do), and because God sometimes does not seem to move in the direction that appears most congruent with His will (as I understand it).
Way too often my heart is led by my eyes or by what I can literally see in the physical realm (and according to Job 31:8-9 this is sinful). A spiritual heart led by physical eyes can lead us astray so we had better take note. "Heart" can mean inner man, mind, will, understanding, soul, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory, inclination, resolution, determination (of will), conscience, heart of moral character, seat of emotions, passions, and courage.*
So for a quick substitution: My emotions are led by my eyes; My understanding is led by my eyes; My will is led by my eyes. My inclination is led by my eyes...and we could go on and on. Do you see the risk here? The eyes can be quite powerful and influential. When I give way to how things appear, I put myself on one giant, slippery slope.
It is no wonder that the writer of Hebrews defines faith for us as the "conviction of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). Do we long for proof or evidence that God is at work? Ironically, we must turn to that which is unseen. If I want physical proof that I have money in my wallet, I simply open it up to look and instantly I know. But if I want evidence that God is at work in my own life and the lives of others (spiritually), to what or to whom do I look for instant knowledge? Herein lies the "rub."
Having the ability to believe "in hope against hope" (Rom. 4:18) is meaty food even for the mature! Yet what frustrations arise when we abandon hope because we have no visible proof! Trusting God when I see results is fairly easy. Trusting Him when I don't is a rigorous exercise of faith and belief.
Though the storm clouds loom and the mountains tower ahead of us, may we look not toward the reality of our uncontrollable predicaments, but instead may we muster the courage to believe, to hope, and to trust, in spite of the view. May we learn what it means to see with spiritual eyes and may we fix them on the One who is unseen, the One who is the "Author and Perfecter of our faith" (Heb. 12:2).
*Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for leb (Strong's 3820)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2013. 6 Jul 2013. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?ongs=H3820&t=KJV
Turning to the disciples, [Jesus] said privately,
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