Should I Believe What I Cannot See?

Question: “Should I believe what I cannot see?  Can I receive what I do not see? Should I believe that I am receiving the answer to my prayer when I do not see the answer?”

Bible Answers

The question is often raised, “Should I believe what I cannot see”? For example, Mark 11:23 says “will come to pass…,” future tense, and Mark 11:24 says “ believe that you have received it…,” past tense.  As God’s Word is flawless, how do we understand this difference?

Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:23-24).

First, 23 and 24 are not two separate scriptures.  24 is a continuation of 23.  Second, in 23, we first believe that what we ask for will come to pass, and in 24, we are to confess it until we have received it.  We are to believe that we are receiving it when we pray, while the thing we desire "shall" come to pass in the future, in God’s timing.

The ISA Interlinear translation of Greek is based on the 1894 Textus Receptus which gives an interpretation of Mark 11:24 of “believing you are obtaining.”  While some other interlinear translations give “believe that you receive.” The Beza's ancient copy and Stephen's copies reads, "believe that you shall receive,” and the Vulgate Latin version; with which agree the Arabic and Ethiopic versions, renders it, "believe that you shall enjoy,” or "obtain"; and the Syriac version, "believe that you are about to receive.””

By faith, we should believe that He is answering our prayers before we see any physical evidence. When we pray we must believe in the finished results of our prayer, and we will eventually experience the tangible results. We may not immediately see the answer, but we can picture the answered in our mind. We believe that we are receiving as we pray and that we will obtain it.

Godly faith believes in what I do not see.  God pointed out that I do not see God, but I believe, I do not see Christ, but I believe.  I do not see the Holy Spirit, but I believe. Why?  Because I do see evidence around me of God, and as I get to know Him, I have the evidence of God’s interaction with me.  I do not see the healing that Christ has paid for, but I believe because of the evidence of the Word of God. The healing may be immediate or delayed. Healing may be delayed because of the devil's resistance in the heavenly realm, or because God has other reasons such as sin, unforgiveness, and doubt that delay the healing.  

While God’s Word is flawless, timing is still in God’s hands. After praying, we thank Him for the expected answer.

Let me show you a secret that many miss. All of Jesus’ commandments occurred, normally immediately, because He was saying/commanding what the Father told Him to say and do, and all of our commands will occur, when we say and do what the Holy Spirit tells us.

Unfortunately, many stop reading after verse 24 and miss God’s condition for receiving verse 24’s blessings. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses (Mark 11:25).


Faith is not denying reality; rather it understands that God can change reality.  Faith is not blind belief but is based on the certainty of God’s Word.  If we break our leg, we do not claim it is healed when the reality is that it is broken. However, we can claim that Christ died for our healing. We can claim that God’s mighty power is working in our body to heal it.  We can claim that we are healed in the name of Jesus, believing by faith that it is what He is doing. And we can look into the future, and thank God now for healing us, believing that he will heal us in His perfect timing.  

Those who believe that we should have faith without any real evidence have missed Hebrews 11:1, Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. This is not blind faith, but is faith based on the “evidence” of things not seen. They miss the all-important statement, “the evidence of.”  We can have faith in the “things not seen” when we base it on the “evidence” of the Word of God and our experience with God.

Holy Spirit

In everything we do, Jesus must always be our example. During His ministry on earth, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus had authority over demons, sickness and disease, the elements, and even death.  We can truly say,  “If Jesus did it, we can do it too as the Holy Spirit guides us.”  That is, if we are open to the power and directions of the Holy Spirit, we can call forth those things we do not see believing what the Holy Spirit has told us.     

Believing what I do not see

Romans 4:17 says, …God, who gives life to the dead and call those things which do not exist as though they did. And in a message to me, God said, Continue to seek me, continue to believe, continue to speak those things that are not as if they where until you believe them and you will receive those things you say. In other words, stop letting doubt in, but believe.

We are being instructed to continue to seek God, continue to believe until we receive, and continue to speak those things we have requested, believing until we have received. This is not receiving by our power but by God’s. It is approaching the situation believing without doubt that it is coming, because I believe it is God’s will, and God’s will will be done.  

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