The Good Seeing

Lisa Cooke

The Good SeeingTony had taken an astronomy class in college, and he explained to me one night while we were dating that the ability to view the stars and planets well required “good seeing.” This means conditions atmospherically are conducive to a clear view of what you are looking at in the night sky. “The seeing is the term used in astronomy to quantify the steadiness or the turbulence of the atmosphere.” [1]

Even though we were looking at the stars and planets through our eyes alone and not with a telescope, we soon developed a judgment whether or not the night was a good seeing night or a bad seeing night.

Spiritually we can have good seeing or bad seeing as well. According to Scripture we are given a choice to live by what we can see in the natural or by what we see in the spiritual (2 Cor 4:18). The things of the Spirit realm are more real and eternal than the things of the natural realm, but we have to make a choice about what we are going to focus on. Good seeing for a Christian means being able to behold eternal realities in the face of natural happenings.

“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT).

It may seem contradictory to look at what can’t be seen here and now, yet this is what God asks of us. Faith is always the way to please God and He asks us by faith to see beyond what is staring us in the face naturally. He does this because it is to our great benefit to be able to see what He is doing in our lives through our time spent on earth. The preceding verse states, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…” (2 Cor 4:17 NLT).

It takes maturity to be able to lift our eyes above the tests, trials, persecutions, and all other things that endeavor to trouble or distract us, but as Epaphras prayed for fellow Christians, we can stand “mature and fully assured in all the will of God.” We make it our aim to be well-pleasing to Him (2 Corinthians 5:9) and we can be assured that He is working in us that which is well-pleasing in His sight (Hebrews 13:21). But this all depends on the choice we make concerning what we are going to be looking at. It depends on our “good seeing.”

So what should we look at? Scripture always gives us the guidance we need to wisely focus our attention. Here are a few to incorporate into your “seeing”.

See that we always triumph through Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV) “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ…” Assured of our victory in Him, we can look confidently for His involvement in any situation.

See that we can count it all joy.

James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Good seeing means we keep our eye on the steadfastness or patience that is being developed in us instead of on the test or trial.

See that our faith substantiates our expectation.

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Our faith is a strong muscle that we are privileged to use as we see beyond what is right in front of us naturally to what is over-arching us supernaturally. Faith is vital to good seeing.

Stephen the martyr knew how to see when he looked up into heaven instead of looking at those ready to stone him. “Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God’” (Acts 7:54-56). That day there was good seeing for Stephen! While our situations are typically not nearly as dramatic as his, we will still get to decide whether we will avail ourselves to good seeing or bad seeing.