Faith’s Opposites

Light is the opposite of dark. Good is the opposite of evil. Hope is the opposite of despair. Zeal is the opposite of apathy. What then is the opposite of faith?

Faith is the opposite of sight.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). “Now faith is . . . the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Our five senses detect the physical world around us. But with the eye of faith “we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen . . .” (2 Corinthians 4:18; see John 20:29; 1 Peter 1:8).

Faith is the opposite of fear.

“Why are you afraid?” Jesus asked His frightened disciples. “How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). Faith and fear are on opposite ends of the seesaw. When faith is down, fear is up; when faith is up, fear is down.

Faith is the opposite of unbelief.

Jesus said to Thomas, who at first refused to believe Jesus had risen, “. . . do not be unbelieving, but believing” (John 20:27). Unbelief is the root cause of faith’s other opposites: walking by sight and fear.

To illustrate all three opposites:

Israel on the edge of Canaan chose to believe the ten spies who said, in essence, “We can’t take the land—the giants are too big.” Israel refused to believe Joshua and Caleb’s report: “With God on our side we can do it!”

In other words: 1) They walked by sight—they could see the big giants, but failed to look with eyes of faith to a far bigger God. 2) They feared the giants instead of trusting in their all-powerful Protector. 3) They didn’t believe that God would keep His promise to give them the land. “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:19).

Israel’s failure serves as a warning to us not to miss out on our Promised Land (Hebrews 3:12-14; 4:1-11).

“Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest . . .” (Hebrews 4:11).


Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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