The most significant parts of life are those that are unseen. If your view of reality is limited to what you can see, your understanding of life will be ill-informed. The culture tells us that life can be measured by what is seen: how much money do you have, stock market reports, opinion polls, how healthy we are. Thus, our assessment of these measurable things becomes the basis of our security, and more importantly, the basis of our fears. However, such thinking is unsound. As Elisha said over 2,500 years ago,
Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.
Elisha’s young servant was afraid. He saw a large army of enemy soldiers and chariots had surrounded the city where he and Elisha were staying. He was afraid because his understanding of reality was limited. Elisha prayed that the eyes of his servant would be opened so that he could see. Of course, the young servant’s eyes were open! But they were open only to the reality that can be seen. Elisha prayed that his servant’s eyes would see reality as it is. Then the servant saw the chariots of fire and he knew Elisha’s words were true.
Was the existence of the chariots of fire dependent upon the servant’s ability to see them? Did the great armies of God disappear when the servant’s vision returned to “normal”? Of course not! This is the great truth about reality that you and I must not forget; there is more to life than what we can see!
If you look out your window right now and look for chariots of fire, will you see them? Probably not. Does this mean that they these chariots do not exist? Not at all. The power of God is not limited to what you can see. Faith is what expands your vision to see what is really real. There is great comfort in the unseen reality.
The unseen armies of God provide hope. This means we can speak of the gospel with power. You can respond to evil with good. You have no need to panic or despair because circumstances are discouraging. If we are to be salt and light and live in ways that truly honor Christ, we must first be confident of the reality that we cannot see.
It is foolish to live only for what our eyes see. Living exclusively on the basis of seen reality tells you just a portion of what you need to know about how to live. Genuine encouragement comes from the reality that what you cannot see. Faith is not based on what you can see, but on the unseen sustaining presence of God’s covenant promises. Tell your children about the chariots of fire. Tell them that those who are with us are more than those who are with them!
This post originally appeared on Shepherd Press and was republished with permission.
Jay Younts is the author of Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, and he is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is a ruling elder at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.