Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What Is Faith?

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

What is faith and why does it matter?

I’m preparing for a confirmation lesson entitled What is Faith and Does It Matter Anyway. These are two challenging questions to answer with words.

What is faith? Pause and form a description of your own…..

My knee jerk religious answer is that faith means believing in God. But looking at faith in a general sense shows that it's more active than simply believing.

I have faith that my car will start because it has been reliable. Without conscious thought, I have faith that a chair will hold my body weight. I have faith that my friend will hold our conversation in confidence.

Merriam-Webster defines faith as a strong belief or trust in someone or something, a belief in the existence of God, or strong religious feelings or beliefs.

In my humble personal experience, faith is more than believing. When I have faith, I am willing to risk taking action. I depend on my car, sit in the chair and share with my friend. Faith involves trust. I have faith when my experience has shown the person or object to be trustworthy.

Can we say faith means trusting enough to take action?

Is believing in God the same thing as having faith in God? Can someone believe in God but not trust Him? Does God need to prove Himself trustworthy in order to gain our trust?

Preparing for this confirmation lesson has raised many questions to ponder. I would love to hear your thoughts!

What do you observe about faith, belief, and trust? How do you define faith?

#SeedsOfScripture #Faith

7 comments:

  1. I love that definition. Trusting enough to take action. Thank you for the encouragement.

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    1. I do think evidence of deep faith is the leaning on it. I hadn't considered this before. Surely faith starts with a belief and grows to strong belief, but deep faith is shown when we step out in faith. This is the kind of faith God rewarded in Abraham.

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  2. Thank you for the thoughtful post.

    Faith, belief, & trust.. I might have faith & belief in God but trust is the much more challenging one for me. I would question, 'What am I trusting?' Trust that God loves me, ok I trust that. Trust that God will take care of me, keep me safe/happy? Hmmm..bad things happen so this is the struggle for me. I struggle with thinking God will 'watch over me.' In the end Good will win so I trust that ultimately God is watching over me. I'm sure that God watches over me every day .. It is in my human experience that I feel trepidation & then a lack of trust that I'll be ok each day.

    How do I define faith: Believing in God at all times. Even in the moments when I don't 'feel my faith.'

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    1. Thank you for responding so honestly. Trust is a struggle, especially when bad things happen. We want to understand why. Most of the 'bad' is a result of free will, don't you think? In the end God and His good plan will win. Trust that.

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  3. To me faith is believing in something you cannot see and is non tangible. Faith is a choice. Some people choose not to have faith. I choose to have faith because I believe in a higher power being God and his plan for me. Faith brings me peace and comfort, I am not alone ever no matter what life throws my way

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    1. Agreed. Believing what we don't see or understand completely. It's not easy is it? Thanks for your response.

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  4. I know I'm behind of this but wanted to say that I really like your definition, "trusting enough to take action". A long time ago a friend of mine used the passage in Luke 7 about the Centurion saying "just say the word and my servant will be healed" to define faith. She said that faith is "taking God as His word". I think adding "and acting on it" would make the definition complete complete. Thanks Cathy!

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