“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (verse 7). I hope you don’t read or quote the verse and picture stumbling about in the dark trying to take steps of “faith.” We are again pondering the eternal as it relates to the temporal. I have to say that I am excited for the day that I will enter into the Lord’s physical presence, never to depart again – to forever be with my Creator and Savior. But until then, I reside in this earthly body, my temporary home, apart from his physical presence. It’s like an extended time away from someone you love, longing to return and be with that person. Do you feel that incredible desire? That’s where this verse is extremely comforting – while I cannot see my God and enjoy the warmth of his physical embrace, I live my life based on the promises of His Word (not grasping frantically in the dark and feeling along walls)! I know Jesus and follow him and live trusting in those promises.
I have a confident hope that I will forever be with the Lord someday, because God has reconciled us to himself. It’s like the ultimate exchange – no one could ever barter an old junk car with no life left for a brand new sports car. How humbling is the exchange described in verse 21? “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” We have been given the greatest of riches imaginable in exchange for the depths of our own wickedness. Thank you, Lord, for loving a sinner like me. For giving me hope, and making me a new creation (verse 17). And for the fifth straight chapter in this epistle, we are exhorted to be extending God’s love to others – to be compelled by the love of Christ (verse 14), to realize we are entrusted with the message of God’s reconciliation (verses 18-19), and as ambassadors to be pleading with others on Christ’s behalf to be reconciled to God (verse 20).
Walking by faith means turning my hope to the rich promises of God’s Word, and living that out by seeing people the way Christ does and bringing his love to them.