Faith – Allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1): fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions. a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him”
Now we come to the word that is probably most referred to when we speak about Christianity. In many cases, that is exactly how we describe Christianity – our faith. So what is faith exactly, and how does it play a part in our lives? There are two principle words in the definition above that clearly describe faith – belief and trust. I think that pretty much sums up what the word means, doesn’t it?
“Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning. . .”
–C.S.Lewis, Mere Christianity
Everyone has faith, whether we like it or not. Even Atheists have faith. Obviously their faith is not in God, but they still have faith. We all put our belief and trust in something. Do your mother and father love you? How do you know, since you cannot prove it? Obviously, you trust and have faith that they love you. When you go to work in the morning, how do you know that your boss will pay you at the end of the week? You can’t prove it, but you have faith and trust that they will. Yes I know that you have legal options if they don’t, but the point is that you work with a trust that they will do what they said they will do. How many of us put our trust and faith on earthly things that later prove to fail us? Yet when God comes knocking on our door, we find it hard to trust Him.
So what does it mean to put your faith in God?
God is revealed to the world in many ways. The first way He is revealed to us is through nature. We see this beautiful world around us, and if we are honest with ourselves, we have to conclude that the world came from somewhere. Nothing simply cannot create something out of nothing. We instead believe that something created something out of nothing. That something is God. This conversation about the existence of God can go on infinitely, and there are many alternate theories, but the bottom line is that faith starts with belief. You either believe that God exists, or you believe we came from nothing, and will return to nothing.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
— C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Once belief is established, we come to the subject of trust. Why do we put our trust in God? Well, frankly, because he shows up. Since the beginning, God has shown His love and justice in ways that we simply cannot ignore. From His covenant with Abraham, to the coming of the Messiah, God has shown us through the Bible and our own lives that He shows up, and will continue to show up in our lives.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
–2 Corinthians 5:7
So what does it mean to walk by faith? Well, it is definitely a gradual process. I used to think that being a Christian meant I would get these magical moments where I would get visions or signs from God. Well, I was right, but not exactly the way I thought. What I have found is that as I read more and more of the Bible, and as I work on learning more about our Savior, something is happening.
God is showing up.
I mean really He has always been there. But, walking in faith means that as we open up our minds and hearts to God, we let Him in. As we do so, He works on that hardened heart, and we change as a result. Walking in faith means we no longer look to this fallen world to answer our prayers, but surrender to God’s will. We come to the realization that we are no longer in control, our Savior Jesus Christ is.
In the end faith is really about a relationship. Think about your relationship with your father on earth. Do you remember the first time your father grabbed your hand to cross the street? Why did he do that? Well, obviously He loved you, and wanted to guide you, so you would not be harmed. Did you pull your hand away, or did you willingly give him your hand? We obviously know the answer. You trusted him with your safety, knowing that wherever he took you, you would be safe. Why is that? Well, because your father had shown up before. Since the beginning, he was there. So you trusted him.
Your father in Heaven also seeks to hold our hand. He loves us, more than we can imagine. He loves us so much, He was willing to allow His only Son to be crucified on a cross so that we may have a relationship with Him. Did we deserve it? Had we done anything to earn it? No, but He loves us that much. Just like your earthly father, our father in Heaven extends His hand, seeking to guide us and protect us. Because of this grace, we are offered the gift of eternal life. He only asks one thing – that we trust in Him. He asks that we place our lives in His hands, and surrender to His will.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”
Will you place your trust in Jesus?
Will you let Him show you the way?
I promise, He will show up.
- Christian Words, Part Seven – Faith (ginzotalk.wordpress.com)
- Christian Words – Introduction (ginzotalk.wordpress.com)
- Christian Words, Part Five – Forgiveness (ginzotalk.wordpress.com)
- Christian Words, Part One – Jesus (ginzotalk.wordpress.com)
- Christian Words, Part Four – Grace (ginzotalk.wordpress.com)
- Day 86 | Matthew 14:22-36 | Keeping your eyes on Jesus = Faith (commonmansbiblejourney.wordpress.com)