The Bible teaches us that true faith hopes against all hope, calling into existence what does not exist, bringing life where there is death. God wants to supernaturally grant us spiritual and divine insight so that we no longer look at people, circumstances and situations as we did before. He wants us to see with new eyes, by faith, supernaturally, as He sees. “For God does not look as men look, for man looks at the outward, at what meets the eye, but God looks at what is invisible. He looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
An amazing and revealing encounter between Jesus and Peter illustrates this truth brilliantly. Peter walked three years with Jesus. He seemed to be a man capable of the best and the worst, alternating between the divine and the diabolical with frightening instability. As Jesus announced His death and resurrection and the scattering of the disciples immediately following His arrest, Peter boldly exclaimed, “Even if all the others forsake You, I will stay with You, even to my death!” (see Luke 22:33).
As Jesus looked at Peter and heard his audacious statement, He discerned two destinies, two plans and two very distinct paths over the life of His disciple. The words that He spoke to Simon Peter are a balm on the wounds of the hearts of those who are trapped in the grip of discouragement or who have lost their vision. Our Lord spoke prophetically to Peter and He is also speaking to us, calling our name: “Simon, Simon! Satan had desired to have you, to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith would not fail and when you come back, you will strengthen your brothers” (22:31-32).
Peter denied Jesus and repented with bitter tears. Jesus possessed the redemptive capacity to vividly see the worst in Peter but also to pray for him and to supernaturally foresee that barely fifty days later, on the day of Pentecost, Peter would stand in the midst of an agitated and tumultuous crowd and speak words that would literally give birth to the Church!
Just as with Peter, Jesus sees where you have been, where you are presently and what you can become by faith in Him. He knows what has been prepared for you in the invisible realm and He wants you to learn to see yourself, as well as others, through that dimension of faith.
Claude Houde is the lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.