Friday takes faith sometimes.
It takes believing that the work week is over and yeah – you really will make it to 5 o’clock!
I was thinking this week about faith and how we often misuse the term in the contexts we use it in. Why is that? Do we really know how to define this word? Have we refined what faith means in our own lives? Do we truly have a solid grasp on this thing called faith?
I think we don’t. I think we struggle with knowing what faith is so we decide to slap it everywhere our beliefs should be and decide: yeah, faith is a summation of what I believe and giant leaps into the unknown. Faith means my walk with God and also my desire to follow my hearts path into whatever career I’ve decided on.
“Ya gotta have faith” when it comes to that college application.
“Just have faith” when it comes to paying your bills at the end of the month.
“Take a leap of faith” when you’re making a big decision (practical & spiritual).
Is that all there is to faith?
While I’m not knocking any of the advice above, I’m wanting to dig just a little bit deeper so that we truly understand what faith is all about, and really – what faith is, and what faith is not. I hear statements often about “my faith is broken…my faith is weak…Lord please help my faith to grow.” And while these statements come from pure honesty in the hearts of others, my heart breaks just a little more everytime I hear them because I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that there is so much more to our relationship with God, with each other and with our calling than simply to use the word “Faith” as the catch-all in every area of our spiritual walk.
Is there a difference between “faith” and “Faith”?
Here is faith defined in it’s most basic form: complete trust or confidence in someone or something. In our case as believers, Faith is our complete trust or confidence in God. Therefore yes, it is the foundation to our relationship with God, but it is not the sum total of our daily lives – it is but the beginning of what our relationship can bring. Faith is foundational. It must be strong, yet we often misinterpret it as something simpler or more mundane than it truly is.
I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve heard the following Scripture: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).”
But have you also continued to read the testimony of Faith so clearly written out in Hebrews 11 – the entire chapter?
Hebrews 11 is a Faith Manifesto – stating the lives of those who lived by faith – encouraging us to live in Faith, in its operative use. It’s filled with testimonies of the saints who went before us, Old Testament heroes – who were human just like you and I – and New Testament application of this operative faith. Faith is powerful – with the proper understanding. Faith is foundational – if we build on it correctly. Faith is life-forming, when our confidence is in the correct source.
Here is what I glean from Hebrews 11:
Faith is not a feeling that everything will be ok if it turns out as planned. Faith is the absolute assurance that you will be ok, even if things don’t turn out as planned.
Faith is not simply a belief in an unseen God.Faith is the total belief that an unseen God holds you and you have a conviction, trust, confidence in that God.
Faith is not now, nor will it ever be, logical. Faith is a decision to trust in something greater than yourself for a life-purpose greater than yourself. Logic will always demand self-first.
Faith is not born in or out of our emotions, yet we often claim to ‘feel’ our Faith because of a deep conviction that is a palpable, visceral and emotional feeling.
Faith in God cannot be broken because He is infallible. Faith is broken when it is placed in people instead of God.
Faith is at the same time deeply private and personal, yet it is also publicly pervasive. A person with a strong Faith can be spotted in a roomful of people.
Faith is not a path to a smooth life, rather Faith will sustain you through life’s turbulence.
“I hoped faith would be an epidural for pain. Turns out to be a midwife who says “Push. I’m here. Sometimes it hurts.”
This quote is often the start of Faith – a hope that Faith will mask the pain of humanity, yet we learn that just isn’t true. Faith will mature you as a person, and Faith will also break you in the process. Faith is the catalyst to new life birthed in you – in every dimension of your life. The interesting thing about Faith is that its value comes through pain, through grit, through the contrast of struggle. Faith isn’t seeing clearly, but it’s trusting in what you don’t see at all. It’s not asking a question and receiving a clear answer, but it’s trusting that the answer will be clear in time. Faith is not weakness, Faith is the desire and ability to lean on a strength greater than your own. Faith does not make you impervious, it makes you real. My Faith in the gospel, in Jesus…it changes everything…and that. That is the difference between “faith” and “Faith.”
Let me remind you today friend, your faith is not broken because your God is not broken. Your faith will only be weak if you forget to completely trust and find your confidence in Him. Faith is strengthened when we become intimate with God and who he truly is in our day-to-day life. If you want your faith to grow? Expand your knowledge of God and TRUST him to lead you. Take the next KNOWN right step. You will fail, but get back up. You will fall, but dust yourself off and move on. Guess what? Other people rely on you and your courage is helping to grow their faith. Faith grows as we expand our hearts and minds to the truth of Christ.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now,
you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
for you are receiving the end result of your FAITH, the salvation of your souls.”
(1 Peter 1:8-9)
Your faith will define the foundation your life is built upon. Yet…please never forget that faith is so much more than unseen leaps and random hope.