The Bible shows us a way of life that isn’t dependent on only what we can see. Psalm 27:13 says, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living” (emphasis added). Matthew 21:22 says, “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (emphasis added). Acts 16:31 says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (emphasis added). In each of these passages, which comes first, believing or seeing? Believing, of course! First we believe and then we see! So, if you want to see something happen, start believing. Stop trying to see it first.
In John 11 there is the story of Lazarus, Jesus’ close friend who died. Martha, Lazarus’s sister, was crushed inside by the death of her brother, as I’m sure anyone would be. At the same time, it also seemed that she was a bit upset with Jesus. In John 11:20–21 we read, “Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.’ ” But Jesus answered Martha by gently reminding her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40, emphasis added).
Martha was focused on the natural and concentrating on the facts. When Jesus had finally arrived on the scene, Lazarus had been dead for four days. There would be an odor assuring everyone of that fact. But Jesus said (paraphrase), “Please don’t look at the facts, only believe. Believe first and then you will see.” We cannot figure this out—yet we don’t always need to. God requires nothing but our belief, even if it is only as small as a mustard seed. Have you ever seen a mustard seed? They are incredibly small, like a tiny little speck, the smallest seed of all plants! Even faith just that small, Jesus said, is able to move mountains! “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20, NIV). Even when believing is difficult, He wants us to cry out, as the man with the epileptic son did, and say, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).