John 14:21 “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
One of the most wonderful aspects of faith that we perhaps don’t think about enough is the truth that Jesus declares in the verse above. So often, we think of faith as believing in things that we can’t see, and indeed, that is one of its defining characteristics. Hebrews 11, which is often referred to as “the faith chapter,” begins with these words: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” That word “conviction” means to be convinced. In some translations of the Bible the word is rendered “evidence.”
So, what is the “evidence” of things you can’t see? How do you “know” things exist when they are things you cannot see with your physical eyes? Again, we turn to the Bible, which tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).” You see, faith is a gift from God. As we come to His Word and sincerely listen to its words, God uses those words to open our eyes to their truth, convict our hearts, and bring salvation to those who are spiritually dead, blind, and lost. It’s a miracle of God by which one is born again and “delivered . . . from the domain of darkness and transferred . . . to the kingdom of (God’s) beloved Son (Colossians 1:13).” It is at that moment that “all things become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).” Suddenly we can see evidence of God everywhere we look. We can see Him in the Creation, in the lives of other believers, and in the words of the Scriptures which suddenly come alive to us. But beyond this, Jesus has promised us in the verse above that He will “manifest” Himself to those who have His commandments and keep them.
You see, true faith is marked by obedience. That’s the message that is central to the book of James. And obedient faith is rewarded by Christ personally as He lovingly manifests Himself to us in ways that only believers will ever see. As we step out on His Word and do what it says, Jesus has promised that He will show Himself to us in ways that will be obvious to us. We will see His sovereign hand at work in our lives in ways that are clear manifestations of His intimate presence. What a humbling and thrilling wonder this is, but it is available only to those who believe and obey. And then, in the end, we know that those who have believed on Him will one day see Him face to face when our faith becomes full and unclouded sight in glory (Revelation 22:4).
Praise God for the fact that faith is not only believing in what we can’t see, but also seeing what we otherwise could not see if we didn’t believe. That’s the truth of God’s Word, and it’s available to those who would put their faith in the One Who is present everywhere we look, whether we want to believe it or not.