In today’s epistle reading St. Paul speaks about his hope and confidence in God’s Almighty power and he invites us to make his confidence our own.

In his Second Letter to the Corinthians St. Paul was forced to defend his ministry in the face of criticism from some people who questioned his apostleship, his gospel, his speaking ability and what was perceived as his unwillingness to accept financial support from the Corinthian Church. Unlike his opponents he sought no personal glory or recognition; his only aim was to please God in his work.

St. Paul did not allow his detractors to deter him from his purpose and goal.  At times he experienced frustration and disappointment but he was resolute in his faith in God. He also had to contend with the artisans who experienced a drop in their sales of statutes. As persons were converted to Christ they gave up their pagan worship and images of false gods and this affected the income of the artisans. Faced with this hostility and rejection he writes:

Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy that we are engaged in this ministry, we do not lose hope
2 Corinthians 4:1, 16.

In today’s reading the Apostle reaffirms his faith and hope in God’s power. “So we are always confident.” This hope gives Paul confidence to live in the present with all its challenges. It also gives him confidence of a future existence beyond this present state of life. But more than anything else his confidence inspires him to live a life that pleases God. “So we are always confident.”
Most of us faced with what Paul had to endure would have given up. Paul did not. Upon reflection and having experienced the kindness and love of God, he made this affirmation of faith, “We walk by faith and not by sight.”

We can use the image of a blind person to help us understand the concept of walking by faith and not by sight. The blind person knows only darkness but he or she walks guided by someone or with the help of a cane. Blind people can teach us what it means to walk by faith and not by sight. They cannot see the path in front of them, but they walk. The blind person walks confidently and with courage.

“We walk by faith and not by sight’ is an appeal to be confident and courageous in life. We are always confident because we walk by faith in Christ. We are confident because we know that as we walk with Christ he will be with us at every stage of our life and the enemy will not be able to defeat us. No matter what happens to anyone of us we can walk confidently if we walk by faith and not by sight.

To walk by faith is to have the faith of Abraham. Faith is to trust God and take Him at his word. Abraham trusted God and without question he left his land for the Promised Land. Abraham walked by faith, not by sight. Walking by faith is to set out on a journey given to us by God, not knowing where it will take us but confident that we will meet God at the end of the journey. To walk by faith is to trust God.

To walk by sight is to see life from a human point of view.  It limits our view and prevents us from appreciating the wonder and majesty of God; it stunts our spiritual growth, robs us of hope and consigns us to a life of fatalism. Walking by sight makes us impotent in the face of adversity and shuts out God’s grace which gives hope and confidence. When we walk by sight it gives us a picture that all is bad, we become prophets of doom and gloom, we become stressful and our lives are void of peace.

Walking by sight puts our trust in man and not God. This process causes us to make false gods and bow down before them. Walking by sight encourages human pride which eventually leads to one’s downfall

To walk by faith is to live by the standards of God and not this world’s values. To walk by faith is to allow God the Holy Spirit to enter our lives and direct them.  It is dangerous to walk by sight and not by faith.

To walk by faith is to go for the gold not the silver or the bronze. It is to have confidence in one’s ability under God’s guidance to achieve and be triumphant. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives that gives us this confidence and hope. Without God’s Holy Spirit we walk and live by sight and are known as persons who lose hope.

Walking by sight affects us negatively.  Walking by faith is a gift from God, not a human undertaking. We cannot walk by faith unless we are in union with God. He is the source of faith and the giver of hope and confidence.  Without God we will always walk by sight and our lives will be characterized by hopelessness and despair.

Walking by faith makes us optimists and not pessimists; it sees adversity as an opportunity for growth and not a sentence of defeat; it takes away our fear of the unknown and helps us to enter the unknown; it helps us to be creative and to venture new ideas; it helps us to stay the course and not be side tracked; it takes away the human instinct to fear and fills us with hope.

Within the context of today’s epistle reading to walk by faith is to have no fear of anything.

How are you walking? How do we walk as Christians? By faith or by sight?

Life is a pilgrimage of faith.

          Disciples walk by faith and not by sight.

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