Summary: How to lived by faith and not by sight.
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
A man named Smith was sitting on his roof during a flood, and the water was up to his feet. Before long a fellow in a canoe paddled past and shouted, “Can I give you a lift to higher ground?” “No, thanks,” said Smith. “I have faith in the Lord and he will save me.” Soon the water rose to Smith’s waist. At this point a motorboat pulled up and someone called out, “Can I give you a lift to higher ground?” “No, thanks. I have faith in the Lord and he will save me.” Later a helicopter flew by, and Smith was now standing on the roof with water up to his neck. “Grab the rope,” yelled the pilot. “I’ll pull you up.” “No, thanks,” said Smith. “I have faith in the Lord and he will save me.” But after hours of treading water, poor, exhausted Smith drowned and went to his reward. As he arrived at the Pearly Gates, Smith met his maker and complained about this turn of events. “Tell me, Lord,” he said, “I had such faith in you to save me and you let me down. What happened?” To which the Lord replied, “What do you want from me? I sent you two boats and a helicopter!” (Source Unknown).
In this passage we find that heaven was not simply a destination for Paul; it was also a motivation. He was anxiously waiting for the day when he would fully participate in the abundant life promised in heaven. He used a tent or earthly house as a picture of our present earthly bodies (v. 1). A tent is a weak, temporary dwelling without much beauty; but our glorified body will be eternal, beautiful, and never show signs of weakness or decay (Philippines 3:20 21). In contrast to the old body, the new body is pictured as a permanent dwelling.
He reminds the Corinthians that the world and its present sufferings are passing away. What is seen (the material) is temporary, but what is unseen (the spiritual) is eternal. No wonder Paul could endure suffering without wavering. His gaze was firmly focused by faith on the Savior and on his heavenly home; not on the seen but on the unseen (v. 7). To live this way is to live by faith and not by sight. Paul had a confident faith that conquered fear, and a future hope that was both a destination and a motivation. Every believer in Jesus Christ has these same marvelous possessions.
In our daily walk of life, what does it mean to walk by faith and not by sight? Lord, help me to think of examples our family has experienced of walking by faith!