Sunday, January 21, 2018

What is Faith?

July 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Manna

What is the definition of ‘faith’?

Our English dictionaries define faith as unquestioning belief without proof, complete confidence or trust in a person, thing, or God, being loyal to a person, promise, oath, or allegiance, and so on.

I love these quotes about faith…

* “Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.” Miracle on 34th Street
* “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
* “Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.” St. Augustine

Many people say they have faith when actually they only have belief. As the oft-used illustration, faith is sitting in a chair, having confidence that it will hold you up, while belief is merely the opinion that it will hold you up.

If you put your whole weight in the chair, you test your belief and it becomes trusting faith.

So, in what “chair” do you rest your whole weight?

* In whom do you place your faith? Friends, parents/relatives, teachers, others?
* In what do you place your faith or trust? School, government, marriage?

I googled “what is faith” and almost every listing I saw, before I gave up, had to do with a religious faith, specifically in God.

While we sometimes put our trust in some people or ourselves, faith is wholly trusting in the characteristics of God’s nature. He is the object of our faith, “so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Cor. 2:5 NIV)

If we believe God exists, then we have faith that He is what He says He is. We trust and have confidence in Him, leaning the whole weight of our lives upon what His Word says, knowing He is faithful to carry it out.

Without faith in God, we have nothing solid in which to rest and trust. Without this kind of faith, it would be like the disappearing sand beneath one’s feet as a wave washes the sand away.

Faith is expressed by an act of the will. It is not conjured up by feelings.

Let me give you an example. Before a child learns to swim, he or she will stand on the edge of the pool, staring down at his/her father, standing in the water with outstretched arms. The father encourages the child to jump in, saying that he won’t let anything happen to the child because he will catch him/her.

After the child has jumped into the water several times and found that the father was telling the truth and can be trusted, the child gleefully will jump into the water, knowing the father will catch him/her and hold him/her up.

Back to the chair…what happens when the chair begins to wobble or a leg falls off? Or the seat pinches? In other words, do you still trust God when circumstances become overwhelming?

What do you do when…

* your parents divorce?
* you don’t make the team?
* a friend stabs you in the back?
* a relative or someone close to you dies?
* others spread hateful rumors about you?
* a boyfriend cheats on you with your best friend?

Do you…

* give up?
* run away?
* think of suicide?

Faith isn’t faith until it’s tested.

An old Chinese proverb says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” We are God’s gems. He knows the worth, the power, and the beauty hidden deep within our hearts and only that which is contrary to our comfort will release the precious qualities within us.

How will we know the strength and extent of our faith if it is not tested? Untried faith is worthless. If we have no trials, how can we tell others what God is capable of doing?

We cannot wiggle out of these times. Premature deliverance frustrates God’s plan. It is like forcing open a cocoon before the caterpillar has finished its transformation into a butterfly. When we manipulate the hands of the clock to align with our own agenda, we destroy the beauty that emerges out of God’s timing.

God is always there for us no matter what we go through in our lives, though we may not always “feel” Him. But remember, faith does not rest on your feelings.

God once said to me when I questioned if He was there…

“My dear one, I have been here all along, through it all. I’ve been here by your side, though unnoticed. I’ve been here, holding your hand, though not felt.

I’ve been here, hovering over you like a mama bird over her chicks, even though the rush of My wings went undetected. I’ve been here in the blackest hours, shining My light, though its radiance went unseen because hurt and pain had shut your eyes.”

Faith is clinging to God when everything within us says otherwise. No matter what trials seem to come against us, we are always safe in the arms of our heavenly Father.

May your faith always be aware of God’s wings of protection.
From His feet, Lynn

Since the year 2000, Lynn Mosher has lived with fibromyalgia and other physical conditions. During this time, the Lord placed the desire in her heart to write for Him. Now, armed with God’s purpose for her life and a new passion, she reaches out to others to encourage and comfort them through her writing, giving God all the glory. She lives with her husband in their empty nest in Kentucky . On occasion, the three offspring, who have flown the coop, come to visit, accompanied by a son-in-law and three granddaughters.

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2 Responses to “What is Faith?”
  1. Nancy Conner Coons says:

    “If we believe God exists, then we have faith that He is what He says He is. We trust and have confidence in Him, leaning the whole weight of our lives upon what His Word says, knowing He is faithful to carry it out.”

    Amen! Amen! and…. Amen!

  2. Lynn Mosher says:

    Nancy, thank you so much for taking time to read this and comment. I’m glad you liked it! Blessings to you!

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