Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 9, 2018

“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees?”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 12:38-45.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+12&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”  But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign;  and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;  for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah;  and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.  The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon;  and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”  Matthew 12:38-42.

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God wants us to have faith, more than He want us to have sight and satisfaction from supernatural signs.

After “Doubting” Thomas saw, heard, and felt Jesus, he thought he “believed”.  But, “Jesus said to him, ‘Because you have seen Me, have you believed?  Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.’”  John 20:29.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1.

If we see it, hear it, or feel it, we no longer have faith, because it is seen, heard, or felt.  There is no conviction of things unseen.

For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope;  for why does one also hope for what he sees?”  Romans 8:24.

We notice from today’s Scripture that the men of Ninevah and the Queen of the South did not receive signs.  The men of Nineveh only received the preaching of Jonah, and the Queen of the South only received words from others in her own land about the wisdom from Solomon.  And yet, the men of Ninevah repented only on the basis of Jonah’s preaching, and the Queen of the South traveled great distance to see Solomon only on the basis of the words from others in her own land about the wisdom of Solomon.

We have much more.  We have Christ.  We have the Bible which shows Christ’s miracles and teachings.

We should simply believe what we already have, the Bible, accepting God’s Word by the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things unseen that is faith.  We should not withhold our belief until we see, hear, or feel.  That is not faith.

Instead of thinking:  “Show me one more sign, and I will believe.”, we should think:  “Thank you God for what you have already shown me!  I already believe you and trust you.  You don’t need to prove anything now.”

We do not need more signs and wonders.  We need to believe based on the signs and wonders we have already experienced.  More importantly, we need to simply believe the promises of God we read from the Bible.

If God shows us another sign and wonder, then that is great.  Praise God!  But, if He does not show us another sign and wonder when we want, we should appreciate that we are allowed to live by faith which is pleasing to God.

God may bless us more by His silence which allows us to live by faith than when He shows us signs and wonders which require no faith.

God has already abundantly blessed us in our experiences in life and also revealed His blessings to us in the Bible.  Let us also appreciate the times of His silence which allows us to walk by faith and please Him.

“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;  and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.”  1 Peter 1:6-9.


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