A Timely Word: Review of Not By Sight

By Trillia Newbellnot by sight

Weariness can sneak up on you; at least that was my case. In June I realized that I was weary, tired, and despondent. There are various reasons for why I was probably struggling (including doing a quick move across the state), but God has a way of giving us exactly what we need at the exact time we need it. Not By Sight, by Jon Bloom had been published for a few months before I received it from Crossway. I hoped to read it before I began packing to move, but it didn’t happen and I am thankful for that delay. In an attempt to review Not By Sight, all I could think was to testify of God’s faithfulness. So that is what I am going to do.

Bloom walks through thirty five accounts in the Bible and provides a picture of what might have happened through the context of that time and through his narrative. As I read I was reminded that the Bible stories are about real men and women just like you and me. They worried, feared, doubted, were disappointed, and sinned greatly. These men and women encountered the Living God and even still doubted. But in these accounts we see their faith became sight because God made it so.

Jesus chose to give them faith, even at times providing evidence, proving himself faithful. Bloom recounts the encounter of Thomas and Jesus after the resurrection when everyone Thomas knew had seen Jesus and Thomas had not. Thomas’s friends were gracious and patient through his journey of doubt, Bloom recalls. Thomas doubted and yet Jesus chose to answer Thomas’s doubt-filled request to see and touch His wounds (John 20: 25). Read Blooms gracious encouragement to us regarding this account:

 “Be patient and gracious with the skeptics in your life. Don’t assume their outward confidence accurately reflects their inward condition. Keep praying for them and share what seems helpful when it seems helpful. Keep confidently and humbly following Jesus. And trust his timing. He knows best how and when to reveal himself to them.” (62)

And that’s what the Lord did in me. He reminded me that though I was weary, He was there. Reading Not By Sight was like receiving an ocean of water in a parched land. As I read each chapter, the Lord was filling me with fresh assurance and faith. During those few months I clung to the promises in God’s Word and reminders like this one:

“He does not always answer with the speed we desire, nor is his answer always the deliverance we hope for. But he will always send the help that is needed. His grace will always be sufficient for those who trust him. The hope we taste in the promises we trust will often be the sweetest thing we experience in this age. And the reward of God’s fulfillment of those promises will be glorious beyond our imagination.” (40)

What hope! Not By Sight was a practical means of God’s grace for my soul. I will return to it often. The book is overflowing with faith-building, pastoral encouragement. Though I walk by faith and not by sight, God used this little book to give me glimpses of what it will be like to one day see my Savior, when my faith will indeed become sight. I rejoice today as I did when I first heard the Good News—He was faithful to restore that joy (Psalm 51:12). And I can say with restored faith because the Lord chose to use a timely word through Jon Bloom, I believe in God and also in Jesus (John 14:1).

Not By Sight: A Fresh look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith may be purchased at Amazon and other retailers.

You can follow Trillia on twitter at https://twitter.com/trillianewbell 

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