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).

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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“Do You Not Care?”

In the hour of crisis

As the waves spilled into their boat, the panicky disciples awakened Jesus, fast asleep in the stern. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38).

On another occasion, Martha was getting super-frustrated as she prepared a meal for Jesus. While Mary was hanging on Jesus’ words, Martha interrupted, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone?” (Luke 10:40).

Have you ever felt like this? How easily our perceptions can be skewed by fear or frustration!

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A better perspective

As we read the rest of the story, we see how Jesus redirected their focus away from the crisis of the moment to a greater appreciation of the One who truly does care.

Is this a lesson we too need to learn?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Prepared for the Inevitable?

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Preparing for the possible

On a cruise, a couple and their 5-year-old son went on deck for the life-jacket drill.

Having seen a Titanic movie, the boy didn’t realize it was a drill and started crying.

Ever had a “sinking feeling,” only to discover your fears were unfounded?

And yet . . . .

Preparing for the inevitable

The world will end far more dramatically than the Titanic, Pompeii, or the Twin Towers.

“. . . the Lord Jesus will be revealed . . . in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel . . .” (2 Thessalonians 1:7b-8).

Have you obeyed the gospel? (Acts 2:37-38; Titus 3:5)

Obeying Christ (Hebrews 5:8-9), we have nothing to dread, and everything to look forward to! (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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