They say that ‘seeing’ is ‘believing’ but I’m not so sure. I actually think that ‘believing’ is ‘seeing’. Consider this prayer of Paul.
13“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope in the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NASB)
What an amazing prayer. The wonder of it is found in the words translated here as; “believing” and “hope”.
Firstly, the greek word “pisteuo” means, to believe, put one’s faith in or trust. It also implies that some action will follow. For instance, we may look at a chair and believe that it will hold us if we sit on it and so we sit. We believe a friend to be a good driver and so we agree to be their passenger. With regards to our soul, we believe that Jesus Christ (and he alone) has freed us from the bondage of sin and made us new, so we seek to live in alignment with that reality. To believe is to agree with God that, “it is as he says it is”.
Secondly, the greek word “elpis” means, the expectation of good or to hope. Of course, it too requires belief or trust but it also implies a confident anticipation. To hope therefore is to agree with God that, “it will be as he says it will be”.
When we believe that something is as God has said it is, there is an overwhelming sense of joy and peace that is imparted to us from God. It’s as if that belief aligns us with God in a special way – so that the full measure of the joy and peace found in him is now also in us – as is a heightened sense of anticipation of all future matters.
So what is Paul really praying here?
He is praying that;
“As we agree with God that, “it is, as he says it is”,
that we will find ourselves filled with the same joy and peace
that he experiences because “he knows it is, as he says it is”.
Further, he knows “it will be, as he says it will be”,
and through His Holy Spirit, he enables you to agree with him on that!”
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