For we walk by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
Which Kind of Faith?
There are different kinds of living “by faith, not by sight.” Recently, God has been directing my attention to the differences between two types of faith, and I believe that’s because he has an invitation for us—a very good one.
Let me start by sharing two very different kinds of “walking by faith” that I’ve experienced.
#1 – Faith That’s Only for Later
There is a “living by faith and not by sight” that expects to rarely—if ever—see God’s help in this life, but is anchored in hope only for the next life.
What do I mean?
We know we will see all things made new and set right in the next life—Revelation 21 and Isaiah 65 assure us that that is true, and that we are right to expect that. But there is a kind of faith that says, “and that’s all we can hope for.”
This kind of faith has little or no expectation of God’s also giving us his substantive, ongoing help now, in our present life on earth. This faith makes room for an occasional helping hand from God during this present life on earth. But it doesn’t have a foundational expectation of a continuous flow of his power here and now—the power of God which becomes sight (in the form of healing, miracles, signs, and wonders).
That’s the first kind of “living by faith, not sight.”
What’s the second kind?
#2 – Faith That’s for Later AND for Now
There is also a “living by faith and not by sight” that expects to see God’s help in the next life, AND expects to see God’s help in this life.
This is the kind of faith that inspired King David when he wrote, “I am certain that I will see the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13 HCSB). He was expressing faith that God would intervene in his situation on earth.
Think about Paul—the author who originally penned the very Scripture about walking by faith, not sight: Handkerchiefs he had touched were taken to sick people, and those people were healed. Paul was sharing a gospel that had power to help people here and now. God’s help flowed to many on earth through Paul.
Jesus himself taught his disciples to pray for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
This kind of faith becomes a conduit for the flow of God’s power and love from heaven to earth where you are, now.
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (HCSB)
Thin Vs. Thick Hope
I remember well the kind of hope I had for God’s help when I was in a tough health situation years ago. It was a very thin kind of hope that was kind of like receiving a promissory note that I knew was valid, but that promised something I’d receive so much later that it seemed nearly irrelevant to the present need. I knew God was 100% good for coming through with my complete healing in Heaven—I had no lack of hope for that. But as lovely as I knew Heaven would be, and as grateful as I was for the promise of it, that far-into-the-future reality wasn’t helping too much with my present need.
After God himself changed the scope of what I was hoping for, my hope became thicker. My hope still contained the faith that all would be put right in heaven; but it now also contained faith for God’s will to be done on earth as it was in heaven—faith connected to hope for seeing God’s goodness in the land of the living. And very soon thereafter, I began seeing healing, miracles, signs and wonders.
Our Help Comes from the Lord
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:2 (HCSB)
Let us pray Your will be done, your kingdom come, on Earth as it is in Heaven, with expectant hope that we will see God’s goodness—his much-needed help—in the land of the living.
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1 (NKJV)
You can find out more about how my hope “thickened” in my book Faith with Wings and in books 2, 3, and 4 of my Valley of Artisans series:
Happy Book-Birthday to the Jesus as Healer Devotional
6 years ago today, my devotional Jesus as Healer: Miracles and Meditations in Luke was published. With 44 short devotionals based on Scriptures from Luke, this makes a good daily devotional for Lent.
Many readers have ordered multiple copies to give to others, which is now easier than ever at its new price. Jesus as Healer is available in print or ebook formats:
I’ve experienced two different kinds of hope and two different kinds of faith in my life. Both kinds were based on faith in something real and unseen—but they weren’t the same at all.
I believe that God is inviting us to thicken our hope in him.
It’s a beautiful invitation. Let’s tell him we gladly accept.
To your freedom, health, and wholeness,
Inspiring Christian Fiction by AmyLu Riley
Selected Christian Non-Fiction by AmyLu Riley