For we live by faith, not by sight. –2 Corinthians 5:7
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. –Hebrews 11:1
In my line of work, there is sometimes a lot of talk about the idea of someone being in denial. Counselors or group therapy members are often faced with confronting someone about a certain situation or circumstance in their life in which that person seems to be avoiding facing the truth. They are in denial that something is, in fact, true. Being in denial usually leads to some kind of negative consequences, because it impacts the choices people make, and it often prevents people from moving forward. It keeps people stuck in unhealthy circumstances.
On the other hand, scripture calls us to have faith even when everything in our circumstances says the thing we hope for is never going to happen. God asks us to believe that thing we can’t see yet will, in fact, come to pass. So where is the fine line between faith and outright denial? How do we know when we’re walking in faith versus when we’re really denying the truth? I believe part of the key to these questions has to do with what is led by God and what is led by our own motivations. When we are driven by our own motivations, we can sometimes become focused on the wrong thing. We may be pursuing things that God never intended for us to have. We may also be purposely ignoring facts because we prefer to only focus on things that allow us to stay comfortable, even if what we are comfortable with is unhealthy. However, when God lays a dream or vision on our hearts, or when He has promised us something, then we can continue to believe He will follow through, regardless of what our circumstances look like. In that case, the truth doesn’t lie in our circumstances, it lies in God’s promises to us, which He is always faithful to fulfill in His perfect timing. When we are in denial our goal is to avoid facing something uncomfortable. In other words, we are focused on ourselves and our own desires. When we are in faith, our goal is to persevere until the thing God has promised us manifests. We are focused on our relationship with God and our desire to have all He wants us to have.
I encourage you to ask God to show you your own heart and any hidden agendas you may have there. Ask Him this week to show you if you are in denial about something that you need to face or let go of, or if He is asking you to trust him just a little longer, and keep believing for the desire of your heart.