We walk by faith and not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7

Any person or organisation that expects a life of happiness and bliss without its challenges is living in a fool’s paradise. Challenges should not be viewed negatively; they help to strengthen our moral character and canbe used to deepen our faith in God. The challenges we meet in our lives come to test our faith in God and the confidence we have in his promises to supply all our needs.

We are not persons of doom and gloom but we accept the reality that this year will have its challenges for the nation and its people. It will also be a challenging year for us at St. Paul as we seek to embrace the ministry of evangelism, embark on new projects, initiate new ministries, carry out our stewardship ministry (programme) and recommit our lives to Jesus Christ, our Blessed Lord and Saviour.
We at St. Paul are familiar with the text ‘we walk by faith and not by sight’. These words continue to inspire many of our members and give them encouragement as they grapple with the various issues of life. I would like to invite you to make these eight words your mantra for 2012, ‘we walk by faith and not by sight.”

What does it mean to walk by faith and not by sight? It means to put one’s trust in God with the belief that God will see us through it all. Within this context we do not rely on our own strength for our daily sustenance but on God’s strength which is able to keep us from falling. Abraham is a good example of one who walks by faith and not by sight. He left his safe environment and ventured out into the unknown for the Promised Land with the conviction that God was leading him. This kind of faith calms our fears and relieves our anxieties. To walk by faith and not by sight, is to live a contented life and make the best of every situation. It is to say with St. Paul, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13).

To walk by faith and not by sight is a real challenge for most of us. It is unnatural because we want to see where we are going. We want to be sure we are doing the right thing. We want to be certain of the results. We allow negatives thoughts to block out the positive and we find it difficult to venture out, to move away from our safe moorings. However, it must be said that the more steps we take in faith the greater will be our confidence in God. As Christians, people of faith, we must be willing to walk where we cannot see. We must not limit our lives to walking only by sight and committing ourselves to those activities which can see and humanly understand and know.

Walking by faith involves taking risks; unless we are prepared to take risks we will never know where God is leading us. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Part of that risk is failure, but even in our failures we can still appreciate God at work in our lives. To walk by faith does not mean we will always get it right, it does not mean we will always be successful, but it demonstrates our faith to trust a power greater than ourselves.

If we keep this text in mind we will be able to enjoy life and live a good life. To subscribe to the belief that we walk by faith and not by sight helps us to avoid undue worry and anxiety. We must not allow the present economic crisis to take away our joy. We must continue to live a normal life within the constraints of the time. So many persons are living with fear because their lives are governed by a materialistic outlook which prevents them from walking by faith. When we walk by sight only we live with tension, stress, anxiety and fear. Why? What we see exposes our vulnerability.

Life in the parish will have its challenges; we must not run from the, to run away is to walk by sight. The challenges will come as we are invited to embrace new concepts of ministry, service, worship and stewardship that will ask us to think differently and do what might seem difficult and impossible. 2012 will ask the members of this parish to change their attitudes to parish life and to review their level of commitment to its ministry. Not every member of this parish will embrace what will be asked because some of us walk by sight and nor by faith. Some will find excuse as to why they can neither participate nor do what will be asked. If we walk by faith what seems impossible will become possible; what looks difficult will become easy to do.

My appeal to the members of our parish family is to make 2012 a year when we commit to walking by faith. It can be time when we let go of our fears and doubts and do something that would further the cause of our parish. We must let go of the fears that stop us from doing what God wants us to do for his kingdom. We must walk by faith and allow the Holy Spirit lead us into all truth. He will give us all that we need for daily living and material needs.

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