“ ‘Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Arise, take up your bed and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’ — He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house’ ” (Mark 2:9–11).
MOST OF US TEND TO HOLD OUR TRUST IN RESERVE UNTIL WE’VE CHECKED THINGS OUT FOR OURSELVES. When told about something that’s hard to believe, we disbelieve it until we have seen it with our own eyes. We’ve been taught not to be naive or gullible, and we know that a certain amount of skepticism is healthy.
Yet this tendency, if carried too far, can get us into trouble. While it’s good to do our own thinking and double-check before we put our trust in something, it’s not good to close our minds with a rigid I‑won’t-believe-it-until-I-see-it attitude. In regard to God, many of the most important things that we need to believe lie in the realm of spiritual reality. It is not possible (at least not yet) for us to personally verify the truth of these things with our own senses, and it’s a foolish person indeed whose spiritual knowledge is limited to what he himself has seen.
When God asks us to accept unseen realities, however, He does not ask us to do so without any reason or support. If there is something in the spiritual realm that we need to accept His word for, He never asks for that acceptance without having offered a sufficient guarantee in the physical realm that His word is dependable. Jesus, for example, asked His hearers to believe that He could forgive the sins of the paralyzed man in Mark 2:1–12, a spiritual claim they certainly could not verify with their own senses. Yet He backed up that claim by physically healing the man. In effect, He was saying, “Believe that I can do the impossible in the spiritual realm, which you can’t see, based on My having done the impossible in the physical realm, which you can see.”
Everything that God has ever done in the physical world, from the first moment of creation until now, shouts to us powerfully concerning the kind of God that He is: almighty, wise, good, and, above all, trustworthy. In the Scriptures, if He asks us to take His word for certain things, it’s only after He has proven Himself to be perfectly truthful — time and time and time again.
“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com