When Things Look Bleak and Ugly: 3 Reasons to Walk in Faith Not by Sight

Even when we know a truth, sometimes we struggle to accept the reality of it.

Coming back from our honeymoon, my husband and I swung through Yellowstone National Park. Earlier that summer, a forest fire had raged through a large section of the park.

Dave and I were both educated as fish and wildlife biologists. We knew the benefits of fire for a forest. Still the extent of the recent inferno’s devastation shocked us.


Missing the Truth because of  What I Don’t See

We knew the reality that the fire would be a blessing to the area, but we struggled to accept that truth because we couldn’t immediately see the blessing.

Even when we know a truth, sometimes we struggle to accept the reality of it. Click To Tweet

I’ve suffered from the same reality-blindness in many areas of my life:

  • I knew God works all things for His good, but I couldn’t see how my oldest son’s deformed arm could be worked for his good.
  • I knew the promise that the Lord would walk with me through life, yet I felt utterly alone after my first miscarriage.
  • I know the truth that God uses suffering to transform us into a clearer image of Christ; however, I struggle with gracefully and joyfully accepting His means of molding me.

If I could just see those benefits upfront, it would be easier to believe.

Perhaps that ‘s why Sarai laughed when overhearing she’d have a son in her old age.

Maybe that’s why Naomi renamed herself “bitter” after the deaths of her husband and two sons.

They let their circumstances blind them to the truth of God’s promises. 

Walking by Faith Not Sight

Instead I want to respond to my circumstances like Abraham, who willingly raised the knife to kill his beloved son Isaac without first understanding how God could still fulfill His promises to the old man.

I want to respond like David, who obediently went to fight Goliath, even though there seemed no way he could win.

I want to respond like Mary, who at a tender young age agreed to be the mother of the Son of God, knowing she would receive ridicule, persecution, and heartache by doing so.

I want to respond to my circumstances in faith not sight. Because walking by faith yields far more blessings than walking by sight.

Faith is infinitely more reliable than sight (or any of our senses really). Click To Tweet

Upside Down Truth

The problem is God’s economy seems upside down to our limited perspective. We struggle to understand that from the least comes the greatest, from weakness comes strength, from ashes sprout the most lush growth.

It doesn’t always make sense, but God’s faithfulness assures us of this truth: Faith is infinitely more reliable than sight (or any of our senses really).

I couldn’t see it, but my son’s disability encouraged him to exercise other gifts God blessed him with. His arm has not hampered him at all.

I couldn’t see it, but God has grown fruit out of the ashes of my unborn children in the way of developing empathy in my heart and birthing a ministry from my pain.

With God, from the least comes the greatest, ... from ashes sprout the most lush growth. Click To Tweet

I still struggle with seeing it, but God’s faithfulness assures me that 

  1. suffering with Christ is indeed a blessing,
  2. His plan for me is always good,
  3. and I need not fear the future even though I know hardships are inevitable.

We may not be able to see the good God has planned for those bad minutes, days, and weeks, but we can be assured they are there because He has promised it, and the Lord is ever faithful.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight, and we are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:7-8

Reflections: In what circumstance is God asking you to “see” with faith? How has He demonstrated His faithfulness to you in the past? 

I’m thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “what I don’t see” as well as Bonnie Gray from Faith Barista and Kelly Balarie from Purposeful Faith. I love these special linkups. They provide an abundance of great inspiration and encouragement all in one place. Click on the image below to check them out.


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Yours in grace ≈


I am a blessed wife, mother of four, and follower of Jesus Christ, celebrating each messy day through His grace. I write, edit, and speak as God leads.

Posted in Christian walk, Faith, Redemption, Struggles, Suffering, trust
  • Kim S

    “I need not fear the future even though I know hardships are evident” – words my heart needs to hear always, Julie! Have a great day and #livefree, Kim Stewart

  • “I want to respond to my circumstances in faith not sight.” Yes, I do, too! I look with these eyes; I feel with my hands; I smell with the nose. I have beautiful senses, but they are not what helps me walk by faith. I, too, want to accept all that God has for me in the way tender, young Mary did. She was so innocently obedient and willing to be whoever and whatever God wanted for her. I want that too.

    Your words have blessed me this evening and so grateful that you are a near-neighbor at Faith Barista.

    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    • Oh, me too, Linda! Resting in His grace to walk in Mary-like obedience and humility.

  • Pingback: » When Things Look Bleak and Ugly: 3 Reasons to Walk in Faith Not by Sight()

  • Awesome post, Julie!!! It was great to visit with you this morning! Infinite blessings to you, Love! 🙂

  • Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit)

    Julie: I shared this with a writing friend who is going through a very rough time with her family. She thanked me for sharing. I thank you for writing it.

    • Blessed by your sharing, Cecelia! Thank you!

  • Marianne

    Julie I am in a tough time , God always seems to guide your hand in writing. It is very hard to see beyond the curtain of hard times, FAITH is not easy but necessary…

    • I’m so sorry, Marianne! Praying for God to strengthen your faith and bring you peace in the midst of the hard.

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Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's BLESSINGS to get lost in its HAPPENINGS. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

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