“People are told that they need not fear what is in this world if we can have a peace which actually comes from outside of it” – Michael Ramsden.
“Even when we look at someone like Stephen, the very first martyr who died for their faith, even though the circumstances were against them, and there was so much uncertainty, in the midst of it they found a peace. Not because their circumstances were pleasant, but rather they had found a peace with God, which was able to transcend even the terror of the situation they find themselves in” – Michael Ramsden.
The world thinks Christians just close their eyes to reality and trust God despite their circumstances or despite the evidence that they refuse to see. But in fact, we absolutely trust God because of the circumstances, because of the evidence that we can see. Hebrews 11:13 says the Old Testament heroes all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off.
Later on, verse 27 says Moses endured by faith as seeing him who is invisible.
So Christians don’t believe things they cannot see – rather, they believe things the world cannot see! A man who isn’t born again cannot see the kingdom of God.
The wind blows where it will, and the world hears the sound of it but can’t tell whence it comes or whither it goes – but those born of the Spirit can!
So we don’t believe God despite the circumstances – we just see a whole other set of circumstances that the world is clueless about!
Stephen saw the mob picking up the stones, but he also heaven opened and Christ standing up for him beside the throne of God!
Remember how Gehazi feared the encircling Syrians until Elisha asked God to open his eyes? Then Gehazi saw chariots of fire riding above, and suddenly his earthly situation was no problem at all. He just needed the rest of the evidence!
So what evidence do we have that the promises of God are believable?
Well, did He change your life when you came to Him? Would that be good evidence that His promises are trustworthy?
Have you seen Him working providentially in your life ever since?
Has He ever answered prayers on your behalf?
Has He ever worked through you to make an eternal difference in the lives of those around you?
Has He blessed you financially as your sacrificial giving has proven Him?
Our trust in God really is based on evidence. We just have a whole body of evidence that’s unavailable to the world!
But while we don’t believe despite the circumstances or the evidence that we see, we do believe despite the obstacles. We see the obstacles that have Gehazi so worried. But we also see that there are more that be with us than with them!
We also see that greater is He that’s in us than in the world!
We also see that if God be for us, who can be against us!
Abraham saw the obstacles. He knew how old Sarah was – how old he was. He knew their human time limits.
But he also knew that there’s no time limit on the promises of God!
And a sinner may look at all the obstacles in his life – all the bondages that he cannot free himself from – all the relationships that he’s ruined – all the sins that have scarred his soul. And if all he focuses on is what he sees down here below, then yeah, he’s a pretty hopeless case.
But if He’ll look to the Savior Who bore his scars and sorrows, then he can find a whole new dimension of reality that he never saw before. And his life can be radically transformed!