Have you ever been grateful in a trial? Have you ever experienced peace in a time of trouble? Have you ever felt powerful and free after choosing obedience? If so, then you have exercised faith: “Blessed are you…because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven“ (Matthew 16:17). You have “seen God” in the midst of your circumstance.
This “flesh and blood” is the soul and body— the human mind, emotions and will operating independently of the Spirit. The flesh cannot comprehend the things of the Spirit. (See 1 Cor. 2:10-16.) God must reveal Himself, His Word and His ways by His Spirit in the spirit of a man. This is “spiritual revelation.” “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever” (Deut. 29:29; Also read 28:12-28!). [In a way, the Holy Spirit is God’s “Toto,” pulling back the curtain to reveal the One who is working behind the scenes.]
Our earthly experience is all about our spiritual journey of faith and revelation—seeing God in everything we are going through, learning to trust and to surrender, rather than stress and work, for He is continually working “behind the scenes.” Faith is the “ear” of the spirit, which doesn’t produce the word or work of God, but receives it. Faith doesn’t perform for God, but rests in God’s performance (“For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” Heb. 4:10) Faith recognizes, acknowledges, and is aware of the presence of God in all situations. Faith must continually expand and expand in us until it includes all things. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28).
There seems to be a dual-fulfillment quality to God’s promises—a future and a here-and-now. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time [NOW] are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us [FUTURE]” (Rom. 8:18). Only “eyes of faith” can “see” this and choose rest. Surely, we may never know, until we get to heaven [FUTURE], all the reasons why God allows certain things in our lives [NOW], but we have hope that, in the end, everything will be (and is) as God intended. Hope applies to the final fulfillment in the future (heaven), but faith is for the present assurance in the NOW!
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). “…but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?” (Romans 8:24). “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” (2 Tim. 1:12). “Seeing God” in your current situation results in peace, rest, freedom and gratitude for Who He is and what He’s done.