RELIGION ROUNDTABLE

Believing is not always seeing

First of all, we must realize that our walk with God is a faith walk. 2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us we are to walk by faith and not by sight. Romans 1:17 says the just shall live by faith. 2 Corinthians 4:3 states that if the gospel is in some sense hidden, it is hidden only to those who are perishing.

God does reveal Himself to those who are willing to seek after Him. Jeremiah 29:13 tells us that if we seek God, we will find Him when we search for Him with all our heart.

Some people say that seeing is believing, but that is not always true. I have known people to see something and still not believe it.

Jesus performed all kinds of miracles in His day. He raised a man from the dead, and they still did not believe. He cast out devils from a demon-possessed man, and they asked him to leave.

Romans 1:20 states that since God made the world He has been showing people clearly about Himself. We cannot see God, but the things He has made show us clearly what He is like, so that we are without excuse.

Trust in God and ask Him to help you find Him. If you seek after him, you will find him and he will reveal himself to you (Matthew 7:7-8, 11).

Winfred Logan, Heart to Heart Ministries

God’s presence would disrupt the world

The prophet Isaiah was not the first or the last believer to think that Yahweh is a god who hides himself (Isaiah 45:15). Quantam physicists who discuss the unpredictability and hidden veils of moving time and space have inspired me to imagine the universe as a vast estate providing ample hiding spaces for God.

Their theories are over my head, but I do understand the philosophers who argue that God cannot come into the world without it changing. If the creator of the world came into our presence in an obvious way, wouldn’t we be overwhelmed? God warned Moses that no one can see the fullness of God and live. If God figured out a way to be present with His irresistible love, that presence would be so overwhelming we mere humans would no longer have free will.

God is present to us through a mysterious invisible spiritual world. I know people who have awoken from sleep when a friend or family member dies confident that their loved one had died. Is this just a coincidence?

I can be busy doing a task and feel an overwhelming urge to call someone and hear them reply: “I was just thinking of you and hoping you’d call.” Is that also a coincidence?

History is full of people who say they felt called to take an unpopular stand for justice only to be ridiculed by the majority, then to later be remembered as heroes and trailblazers. What gave them the imagination and courage to articulate a vision of a world yet unknown? Are these not examples of the invisible mysterious Holy Spirit at work? Yet we humans want more obvious signs of God’s presence.

Christians believe that God is most fully revealed in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus’ ministry abounded in love, and he expressed this love through healing the sick, including the outcasts of the community, and teaching that others should be treated with respect and that we should love others as we love ourselves, as well as repentance and forgiveness. Jesus confirmed the idea that there is life

after death. Does it hurt or help us individually and as a community to believe these ideas?

— Dale Clem, First United Methodist Church, Anniston

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