The proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:7-9)
Believing in something we see doesn’t require faith. Believing something we don’t see requires faith. As we are faithful, we believe God, who we do not see. Sure, we see evidence of Him. We can know Him without seeing Him. We can have confidence that all His promises will be fulfilled, because who He is includes a faithfulness that cannot be broken.
Faith bridges the unseen world with the seen. The one who has faith is in the seen world; the one who is faithful and is the object and provider of faith is in the unseen. Faith gives eyes to the heart. And that’s how love without seeing and faith without seeing are tied together. They can’t be separated.
Although we have not seen God, we love Him. We have faith in Him, including His love, because love is His character. Although we don’t see God, we believe Him. And our faith includes love. Faith isn’t something of our heads; faith involves everything about us, including our hearts.
We don’t draw a straight line between faith and love, determining faith came first and provided access to, trust in, and respond to God’s love. Faith isn’t a requirement for God’s love. It exists whether or not we acknowledge or accept it. God’s love always has been, is, and will be, because God is love, and He always has been, is, and will be.
Also, love doesn’t have to precede faith. Our faith continues to grow and our understanding, acceptance, and expression of God’s love grows alongside each other. They weave in and out and blend together because they are never mutually exclusive. We have faith without seeing, and we accept and give God’s love without seeing. We don’t need to see or understand everything in order to live it out loud.
Consider these Scriptures that refer to sight.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
He said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive;
Keep on looking, but do not understand.’
Render the hearts of this people insensitive,
Their ears dull,
And their eyes dim,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:9-10)
We don’t need sight to believe, and we don’t need sight to love. We love because God gives us His love. We love others because we love Him. We love because He created us in His image, and because He is love, we have His love instilled in us.
Dear God, I want to love because You love me and give me the guidance and strength to love, not because I try to love in my own understanding and strength. I believe You. I believe who You are and who You say I am. I believe You can do anything and everything You say You can do—and You will. I will step out in full dependence and trust in You. I will love You with Your love. I will put no conditions on Your love, separating what I see and understand and what I don’t. I am Yours.